Friday, August 27, 2010

AUCKLAND 24, 25, 26

Wharf Poems

1. Departure

At eleven, I photograph
the latest container vessel
lit up, stacked, a party venue.

At twenty past eleven I must
get up! quickly! something changes!
I see three cranes at attention together.

The wharf is bare, ship-less.
Searching the harbour, I discern
a line of porthole lights, moving east

smoothly. Into the star-less
depth-less waters, framed by
the last crane, presenting a bright

stern before turning north.
This channel worn smooth by
pakeha, maori, samoan, hawaiian.

A caterpillar of orange lights
blends the edge of a known world
with darkness, feeling its way dreamily.

2. Comparison

Maryanne, my new friend
has views of liners, yachts, ferries.

My windows frame
working boats, cargo

which leave by stealth
create no waves, head for
the edge of a flat earth.

3. Salted

A wild night.
Windows caked with saltspray.
One of the large cargo ships
releases car after car
with flashing lights.

I walked home peppered
by raindrops flung willy-nilly
by gusts and blasts of wind.
They say land slipped
on Waiheke, island of art.

In daylight, I see the dolphin
spouting painted bubbles
toward the ships for'ard windows.
Trans Future 6, Panama, she's called.
The piers fill with her spawn.

Smoky or steamy the horizon
- take your pick - recovering
from repeated wetting. Enough
cloudless sky to let sun
fall on water, drench it with dazzle.

4. Wharf Dancing

A new ship.
The beautiful ballet
of those derricks/cranes
the graceful claws.

Yellow porters, as
vigilant as vultures
scurry with containers
to far vestibules.

Their dance is also
balletic, solemn
while twinkling
with orange lights.

Everything works with purpose
in slow motion , pointing
towards a silent departure
in the depth of darkness.

5. Night

It's quiet on the docks.
Friday night.
The bars invite. The night
is dry (Get Wet! goes up
the cry). Rain has fled
elsewhere, to destroy
or delight. It's Friday night.

6. Muslin Rain

Walking to work
in Drizabone, wielding
umbrella like a baton -
fine rain, squeezed
through muslin
insisting on its right
to exist.

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