My earth was bare and open to all
I swept myself wide and inhaled
the breathing of the long willow wisps
waving hello to the swathe.
My horizon was long and luxuriously so
with nothing to hinder the wide smiling world
upon which draped my earth room legs
until the gaze of the coming dawn.
Here was a palace, a magician’s parlor
a restful place for the resting traveler.
Towel off a bit,
draw up a stool
you and I are going to chat.
You aren’t so empty—
oh, to the contrary
you’re vibrancy incarnate.
Your tidal waved attitude
you swell so well
and it goes–unnoticed.
My Auckland e-bike, a long black thing sporting a waterproof saddlebag and a rectangle motor which spoons my seat tube, is heavy.
The bike is hard to hoist over fences and it gets caught going up curbs. It’s tricky to swing around to fit the bike stands and near impossible to rotate it to hide the saddlebag from lazy snatchers. It’s especially difficult to maneuver over little Samu’s scooter which sometimes (often) falls to the floor of the tiny shed where the e-bikes are stored.
If it didn’t have a motor, with it’s pedal-assist purring features, I would be very strong. Or I would be habitually late for my weekend shifts in the city.
But for all my complaints, the heaviness lends a hand in a few areas.
I’m your classic case of an internally-distraught people pleaser.
I would like everyone to be happy, preferably on my account. So that they will like me and I will like myself.
But when I draw one knee up into my armpit chest, and let the other one fall open, and I unscrew the lid of the toenail polish—a dusty rose—and I rest my cheek against the bone of my knee as I stroke, stroke, dab, stroke at the nails on my calloused feet, swipe at the bit of dusty rose that dribbles on floor, wipe my finger on the paper towel next to my foot—
When the man in the hat ordered a beer
from the high school barista at the coffee shop,
I politely declined the impulse
in his funky, retro cowboy-hat
and single, dangling hoop earring
ordering a beer from the kid behind
the espresso machine
I wondered which was redder:
the lad’s salty cheeks
or the man’s full-body unitard.
The man in the hat asked
a second time
for a beer:
“Warmed, if you have it,
Brazen chipped callous
lines side of left toe,
stretches, white, as I stretch
toe pockets marked with shadows
echo tide pools and wave drops
pitter sand from the mat of the car.
Chalk elbows graze
along the grey window sill,
dragging slip lines of dust mites
bits of me I haven’t missed.
“Hey, excuse me?” called a voice.
I jerked awake; and was horrified to find I had slipped into fetal position mid-doze. I pushed myself up to lean, awkward, like some uni-legged creature.
There was a man standing behind the knee-height wire fence which separated Starling Park from the streets of Ranui. He had black pants and a dusty white t-shirt, which revealed sleeves of tattoos. He looked mid-twenties. Arriving at my mermaid seat from the heart of deep sleep, I was confused at his expression. He wore a mixture of concern and immense curiosity; as if he had never seen a female before, or he didn’t know the earth was round and was aboard his first airplane ride.
“Excuse me?” he repeated.
“Yeah?” I replied, leaning back on my arms to balance my posture.
“Are you alright?”
He walked high
noteworthy jingles in his gait;
the last was
a pocket of change
from the corner shop
and the first
we politely ignored.
The sands tell tales of arduous tracks
of long, lumbering earthy strides;
there are those before me
who have pressed
the sand with leaden burdens
the prints of souls unsatisfied.
Then there are
My praise is but
the catacombs of waves
the stuff of ant children
and young sunflowers.
Waves speak quieter
and go much further.
the whole earth grows—
how my arrogance is so!
Buck-toothed and dreadlocked
the wild man of Swaziland plunged sugared fingers
into a bowl of cheesy potatoes.
He shifted his restless feet
for a firmer perch against the mountain scree,
and spat out a hunk of chicken poo.
Plump beetles scampered around his hairy ankles
looking frazzled to existence;
the wild man took but peripheral notice
his attention otherwise committed
to thick fingered unraveling of cheesy potatoes.
Continue reading “Wild Man of Swaziland”