the essence in geography
small boy rests his hands on a dust-sheathed book, the title
long-buried under the oils of past fingers. whatever is left
will be given over to nights, where he hears bethells calling,
piha just around the corner, wild west black sand laughter
and the mercurial dance of friends, travellers who'll only know
each other for mere months. "marco, have fun back in germany,
will you?" of course you will.
and empty violins marked with genius. and thrashing tambourines
with gypsy eyes. they both call. they both dive into the fickle pools
of green summer days spent in taupo. by the lake, past the floating
golf-lottery which no-one hardly ever hits, past the jetboats
and jet-skiers and skydivers who come to sample the caves
and vineyards, the sculptures and ravines of this long
white cloud drifting on. where are the kiwi?
the long-forgotten huia? the ever-present pukeko
still rile the swamps with their shrill calls.
"they taste like stringy chicken, although there's
not much meat," i've heard it said before.
and a small boy rests his hand on an indecipherable book.
maybe it's a colonial author, maybe it's one of those
dole-bludging good-for-nothing maoris white farmers
would want to chase off. "but those were the wars.
that's how it was: command and conquer.
rape them out. burn them out.
do whatever to make them learn."