Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Late in the Day


A house is what you pass
through, using each room as the diver might a wreck.
The properties of the property trusses (faith) dwangs (hope) and cladding (charity)

come Christmas the wood is still
knotted. Erratic yet joyous the wind in the roofing iron.
There's a shadow behind my understanding

smile, a smile that understands nothing but is practiced.
What are an electron's qualities? Zero volume and an infinite lifetime...
Such inexpressible nothing! Like

love. For every hour wasted, a vase of flowers on the kitchen table between you and me; we
wait for petals to obscure our shopping-list, those personal pronouns.
With every start false we start

over, naturally. On the corner the memory of another
corner. Each step is a cross
connecting the life to come with the life to come.


David Howard's collaboration with photographer Fiona Pardington, How To Occupy Our Selves, was published in 2003. A draft of the opening poem There You Go featured in Best New Zealand Poems 2002; the full text was mezzosoprano, narrator and piano trio by the Czech composer Marta Jirackova. The Harrier Suite appeared in both Best New Zealand Poems 2004 and The Word Went Round (2006). In 2007 David worked with Brina Jez-Brezavscek on a sound installation, The Flax Heckler, in Slovenia. On 18 September 2009 soprano Judith Dodsworth premiered Johanna Selleck's setting of his lyric Air, Water, Earth Meld at Melba Hall in Melbourne. In December 2009 David received the inaugural NZSA Mid-Career Writer's Award. Late in the Day comes from an unpublished collection that also includes Overture: Aotearoa (Best New Zealand Poems 2009)

For more of David's writing, please follow these links -

Tuesday Poet Tim Jones posted an extensive and absorbing interview with David on his blog Books in the trees (November 2009), the expanded version of which you can read here, at Cordite.

To read more Tuesday Poems, please click here
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  1. What a poem, lovely upon lovely. Just then, you feel your heart twist like an ankle. A sublime ache, the pain that makes us human. You reach out and touch fingertips.

  2. What a poem. Like the wreck, it begs to be entered again and again. Thank you David, and Claire.

  3. The form--tentative, searching enjambments--fits the subject. Petals and personal pronouns is a surprising connection.

    Does he need the last line?

  4. Thank you David and Claire...Like Mim, I watch the petals falling, obscuring.....