Nick Pound
New Zealand

Letter to Ernest Dowson

1. Night falls

As the moon maiden plucks pin by pin
from her cushion - night falls.
Yes Ernest Dowson,
night falls as she makes modest dress
to wear in your cupid's garden.
I, like Pierrot, follow a weedy
trodden path, laden and luminous
'with windswept lillies',
night falls on me as I pull,
jerk, pick, gather and garner
all of them on my way.
Oh, it's very nearly dark now
Ernest Dowson -
when I arrive at Mercy's gate
she will be there and I,
like you, will give her my smile.

2. The vegetable the verse and the vine

I wish I had found you Dowson,
on verge of death - oblivious to it -
I would have made you live Dowson
and today at the bookstore
we would have had 'such larks pip'
you in your wheelchair engulfed
by the hideous Dickens editions.
Later we would return to my garden
built on your design, Ernest.
where your great uncle and Baxter
are the bartenders and concoct
fruit and vegetable drinks
based solely on past lovers
the hoboken -Gin and orange
for the women of our youth
-Rubarb and cointreu for the lovers
like yours, the ones who made and killed
a poet.

The void of Empire

Today I choose to sit
Under a little Kauri
In Albert park
Narnia's Lamppost
The native left planted

Determined to write
I spend little time
Watching a Turkish delight
Add sugar to her stare

I tell myself "Nick",
Your sweet enough, besides
Queen Vic's just over there.

Hemi- it seems as though
Queen Vic advises rest
Kauri Kauriki suddenly all
The more symbolic.
Determined I remain

As night climbs up
Each separate path
I scan this Kauri's forest
'The void of Empire'

I tell myself "Nick"
Your wagging Belich and
Queen Vic's just over there.

Trip to Pukerua Bay

My wallet- as per usual-
saw more action than it should.

Waiting at the train stop for its return
I prayed that it had forgotten how to spend
its little self in places other than city bars.

That it, like me, couldn't buy cheap wine
and drink it out here on the coast.

All week I had thought of Pukerua Bay
Puri, the Campbell's (ataahua included), Hunt
and now my wallet was off to Muri and more

hopefully seeing it all from the pocket of one
who travels this fabled Kapiti every day.

Next I thought I would go to a boatshed;
then my wallet- sure to return from
what would be as a desert to it-

would teach me to find poetry everywhere
or drown in romantic New Zealand.

Poems copyright Nick Pound 2004