Title: Sport 14

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, April 1995, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 14: Autumn 1995

David Howard

page 121

David Howard

An Account

It does not want so it does
not want to be
included. If it falls
off the window ledge
the experience is ours:
dust does not perceive
the view it drops

through to a lake that is
neither wet nor dry
for either the dust or itself, being
selfless. Surrounded
by stones that don’t know
their location on the map
our feet enact

under a sun that is said to
set by us, yet never does,
the current directs weed without
intention: good and bad belong
elsewhere. If our daughter
sinks for the third time
it is of no account to the sludge

she stirs but does not disturb.

page 122

Rue Grehan, Akaroa

for twenty-nine years you
pushed against cloud: finally
blue fills your eyes with even more

emptiness. I see today from a long way
away. The wave
breaks it back
on the rock I cannot

reach: there you are
my reckless one, figuring
out the horizon
you will navigate beyond

tomorrow. No, you are not there. I guess
it’s true. I interpret
the air with my breath, licking
the syllables of your nick-name

in with this spindrift. Mending nets
so the brilliant fish won’t slip
through the mesh I make
sense from absence.

Hauling our broken boat over
the causeway I almost see
you: we
imagine one another’s laughter

lifting with the buoys.

page 123


somewhere else the sea covers a stone you will never throw
the plums grow black under a sun that feels nothing
the wind smells of asphodel and the apprentice turns
back to make sure it is not his mother’s perfume

somewhere else one bird eats another looks on until its skeleton rubs
the fur from windfall plums
the line on a silent girl’s left hand matches
the line on a noisy boy’s right

neither boy nor girl will enter the box where your heart beats time
the box where plums have a musty sweetness
the apprentice mistakes for his mother’s perfume
and wings whisper

where else does the sea cover a stone you will never throw again