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Aalix Roake
new zealand
Roadside Pub

It's just a stop on the way home.
All the other cafes were closed when
this pub apparated with a parking space.

Inside, the men at the pool table ignored us,
while the weary cook waved listlessly,
“Only lamb knuckles are left.”

When we walked out the door,
we heard the TV sound turn loud
and the rugby game leap into the space.

We are not allowed into the hearts
of those everyday workers with routines,
patterns in life of dinner at the pub,
rugby games on TV,
dining on what is there and left behind.


You see another road - a metal road - you say in parlance
old-fashioned now in New Zealand.  Everyone says gravel
except the old farmer who opened his steel gate for our new SUV
crossing his land as if we were explorers being welcomed by
something indigenous and friendly, a grizzled snake perhaps
or something cuddly that lived most of the time alone in his land.
You see another pebbled road and you quickly turn once again,
with me the reluctant side-kick clutching the arm rests as you spin
down serpentine roadways, wide enough for one car, mountain on one side, unforgiving cliff on the other.  You smile and smile, your face a chimera waiting all the years you were gone for transformation right now.  You are another returnee bringing a foreign spouse to a world of funny talk and breathtaking drives and beauty of landscape enjoyed and feared like the new life you started together so recently:
A not quite controlled ride down and up.

The Essense of Chaos Theory

A butterfly, flapping its wings,
in Madagascar in the Pleistocene,
led me to love you today.

We could have passed without greeting
as we walked our large dogs,
or you might have slept under a bridge,
as I taught a class and went home
to my bearded friend.

We are so sensitively dependant.
on that butterfly, who should, in fact,
have been a seagull, but no matter;
in this indifferent, intertwined universe,
seagull points to butterfly creates you loving me.


A few months before
we left the old house
a brittle fog
descended between us
and the setting sun.

House, windows, distant boat
glittered, shone with a light
so hard, so cold, so
final, it made me want
to leave right now.