Title: Sport 7

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, July 1991, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 7: Winter 1991

♣ Geoff Cochrane

page 139

Geoff Cochrane

The Forger

In muted limes and scarlets
I mint these postage stamps.
With a tool not yet invented
I score precision.

I perforate. I fold.
I study with a glass an etching's thatch
In which butterflies yet store
Honey of a kind, like caution.

The Detective

I cage, I swaddle.
I wear a striped shirt, am all pastels.

Violence has no hyperbole
I cannot match from my own glib argot.

Beside the fountain where the knife is found
I investigate a dapple. My task

Is accomplished with the plain, provident motions
A priest achieves in silence, resolutely.

I probe, I colour; none will teach me manners
Better than my own.

page 140

An Ambulance

Between hospital and zoo
asterisks of rain fall audibly
on the many old tin awnings.
Through cool blue air arrives
a siren's pure ambulance. Someone
is dying of too much afternoon,
of fennel and cats and clothes props.

Aztec Noon

This I had thought forgotten
I recall now almost perfectly
In the gloom of winter:

Past a cloacal wall whose posters
Decayed like leonine faces,
I took you home up steps,

Strewn with crates and cabbage,
To a room which seemed a tank of light
At the very top of the world.

All summer was a gala Aztec noon
We walked in, hip to hip,
Through odour of the sea's green cistern.

page 141


A sky the texture of peaches
mixes itself like paint.

I try to craft a thing as big
as a matchbox, as explicit.

Night snaps itself together.

Your visit is a postcard
from a distant, brilliant room
overlooking musical lawns.

I mark them down,
the things which once contained us;

the flower stall, flute and accordion,
the drizzle in which
we missed our departing selves.

page 142


The poet arrives
In a city of silence,

Is invited to dine
By a spy in a sparkling mask.

Here is the porcelain
Pipe of hashish,

Here yellow carp
With the names of clouds.

It forms like smoke,
A poem in his mind

Of items like toys:
A pine, a slanting roof,

Now bare, now clothed in snow.