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Sport 7: Winter 1991

♣ Dinah Hawken

page 43

Dinah Hawken

The harbour is a whipping boy and the weird
arrhythmical wind is the whip. Water and leaves
and berries and stems are whipping away from it
and I'm crying 'every other natural thing has rhythm'
while it whines on winning the case for chaos
again—and gusting its guts out—again.

Big logs are lying about on the beach
like a bunch of old people splitting their sides
and rolling about with one leg, or an arm, or both
or all four in the air. They're laughing their heads off
and the joke's not over. Soon they'll pass out
and float off—enlightened—between the high tides.

Nature is lifting her side of the table, the feast
is sliding in all its delectable glory down
onto our laps and spilling over
onto the marble floor. What a finale. Napkins
flying and flashing. High alarm. Then outrage.
Who will clean this up, where are the staff?

The man/woman struggle is over   it's over
we're over   we're over the moon!
We'll never ever forget it. It is essential
and there'll be remnants, but it's over and soon
she will lie behind him, her breasts resting
lightly against his back and her nipples rising.

page 44

We have come to the place in the text—a clearing—
where a man and a woman have intentionally met.
They have come together (remember) under a totara tree: will they
take this tree to be the tree of life, to have and to hold
from this day forward, in fall and in flower
and in seed and in root and in stem and in branch and in leaf?

Here they are now like a wave in the wide bed:
a woman curving round the spine of a woman
who is curving round the spine of a man
who is curving round the spine of a man
who is curving round the spine of a woman
who is curving round the spine of a child.

Then there is the wild mute girl on the bed
in the empty warehouse whose father will do anything
for her as long as she will have sex with him and the other one
almost totally buried under furniture in the house
of the professor with the largest pornographic collection in the country
—oh, is she still breathing?

The beach bikes have come. They're ripping shit out of peace.
They're streaking past in dead straight lines.
Other riders are circling and gliding along the sea's edge
on a different journey, breathing different air.
In the sandhills   she is settling down
for life   in a hollow   in her body.

page 45

To live in this immediate reel of moments
we'll want to get the revolving to stop.
I wonder how on earth the clocks got started.
Who ever thought of time for New Year's Honours?
We'll need to settle back to dead centre   since
it is the great beginning any way.

Who is she? She is trimming the smallest
fingernails, she is threading honeysuckle
through trellis. She is the context, the swell,
the breathable air. She is singing,
she is swinging the girl on the swing
in the park. She is fluent and steady and unpaid.

He puts his hand into her hand.
He puts his hand to her heart.

He is lettuce planted by the water.
The plants and herbs in his field are ripe.
He has sprouted, he has burgeoned;
He is lettuce planted by the water.

She is telling us that time is still, that only
what we make to measure time moves. There's no past
or future in her dreams, heaven is here with dirty shirts
and congenital disease. Carpet comes from live sheep,
coal comes from trees, honey comes
from flowers and thousands of frantically active bees.