Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Collected Poems



To stave off disaster, or bring the devil to heel,
or to fight against fear, some carry a ring or a locket,
but I, who have nothing to lose by the turn of the wheel,
and nothing to gain, I carry the world in my pocket.

For all I have gained, and have lost, is locked up in this thing,
this cup of cracked bone from the skull of a fellow long dead,
with a hank of thin yellowish hair fastened in with a ring.
For a symbol of death and desire these tokens are wed.

The one I picked out of a cave in a windy cliff-face
where the old Maoris slept, with a curse on the stranger who moved,
in despite of tapu, but a splinter of bone from that place.
The other I cut from the head of the woman I loved.