Title: Sport 17

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, November 1996, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 17: Spring 1996

C.K. Stead

C.K. Stead

page 136

The Right Thing

‘Have you cracked
the snowfall's code
or the language of light?

‘How much honey
do the Pleiades hold?
Where is Orion unclasped?

‘What is the weight
of shadow
on a hardened heart?

‘How do the ten
standing orders of heaven
differ from sleep?’

‘I am a sod, Lord’
Job answered correctly.
‘I can answer nothing.’

Sheep were his reward,
good pasture and camels,
also daughters

and the defeat of foes—
Eliphaz the Temanite
and Bildad and Zophar.

page 137

Janet Frame's House

There's a pool table
she plans to exchange
for a desk
of the same size.

At the back are pines
and a tidal creek
with mangroves
and crabs.

from the racecourse
a traffic bridge
rushes and whispers.

Needled grass
under the pines
summer picnics.

At full tide she says
if she had a dinghy
she could row across
for the shopping.

Indoors again
I take down a cue
from its wall-clip
and pot the black.

I too would like
such a vast desk
but secretly wish
she would keep the table.