Title: Sport 34

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2006

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 34: Winter 2006

Peter Bland

page 168

Peter Bland

Mr Maui Sees God in a Summer Garden

Summer: wombs are everywhere. They hang
as hives or quake deep underground.
God is a cannibal, but perfect… perfect…
spawning himself in jewelled shoals,
gorging among his seed-pods,
consuming himself in a variety of forms.

His sun-swarms gather… limbs, wings, and fins
ablaze in their elements. He's everywhere.
He eats his own sons. Crazed
with self-love he runs his disguises
down gyres and galaxies. He stamps and dances
through bee-filled branches
and the wormy corridors of fallen leaves.

page 169

Mr Maui among the Post-modernists

Fuck it, don't turn away. I am
as poor John Clare said,
hanging on by a hedgerow
when they put him in his place. Even now
it's not a wilful subjectivity
but sheer survival… a clinging
to what's within reach.
And so

go deconstruct yourselves, that's fine:
beautiful evasions, language games,
watching telly, all pass the time,
though lacking a certain urgency. At least
I'm in your face… an old
Aunt Sally or ventriloquist's doll
tied to a borrowed body,
alive to the voice that rattles in my head.

page 170

Mr Maui Loses the Plot

I've forgotten the plot: birth, marriage, deaths,
a change of country, house, or sheets,
surely that can't be all? The narrative
has quietly gone to pot
like me.

I settle back to watch the tides
startle with their flash and suck.
Children cry 'Surprise! Surprise!'
and build a house out of light and mud.
I live like a hound growing fat on crumbs.
I hide under the table whenever the plot's discussed.

Mr Maui Returns to the Death Goddess

Not, I admit, with that youthful savagery
that, decades ago, first led me here,
but with a long tenderness
that persists. As I enter in
her scent enfolds me. Where death is
was always on the other side of this.