Title: Sport 43: 2015

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2015, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 43: 2015

James Purtill

page 43

James Purtill


Quiet after the rain
I think of my tadpoles at night
Their tiny clenched legs, and I want them to open,
And be open.
Like a hand feeling the rain falling, I am looking
For nothing. Only the moonlight of wide open eyes in close,
I would be radiant as gas, the thunk
And ripples, the quiet of a heavy yellow bucket.
I would like the rain to fall on my eyes, wide open and staring as
rain falls
On countless moons, falling in a snowdome
Of gravity. That would be rain, pure and multiplying
In deep space, collecting in buckets.
I have a craving for rain, for the outpouring rain-language,
For the open throats of the frogs, discrete fellows, inside-out and
Stomaching atmosphere, hopeless and
Boneless in everything but the full bellowing monsoon,
Calling up the swamp, they open their chests like frog-boned
I think of the covers of paperback science fiction,
The space ships in pink light,
The space ships rudimentary and eccentric,
Like something whimsical, romantic, cast out of ourselves
For safe-keeping, wandering in a far-off universe,
While on Earth it rains between towers,
And the window cleaners
Smoke in helmets.

page 44

In our Tent

This is somewhere on the east coast of Australia.
This is somewhere,
This switching out the light,
The darkening sounds of raindrops
Of animals
Licking barbecues.
The dusk the black wind the square light of home.
The way we say the word submarine.
The way it hates
From deep inside its head.
The long dark spill of an ocean.
The way we are raised to hunt in the dark.
Rain opens the dark like spiders open triangles.
We are ever falling
Through our own search cordon.
We are the international community we have sent to find us.
Through the jellyfish, the souls of tortoises.
We are the black box studying
The laughter of our final mayday broadcast.
I walk out under the stars in clean white.
We are seventy per cent water and thirty per cent ice.
None of us will ever be together.

page 45

The Win

Finally releasing
The champagne from the fury
They become boys again, an immense slackening innocence
Of being loved,
And waving and doing laps under the lights.
We gaze.
A thousand faces in the shallows.
We collide. We die. We run around and try.
And home. Where there is never anywhere to hide.
Our faces are coins in a fountain.
Our balloons have gone everywhere.