blackmail press 25
Pat White
New Zealand

cast down - mephisto jones
Poet and artist. Living at Gladstone, Wairarapa, NZ. Has published several volumes of poetry, most recently Planting the olives (Frontiers Press)2005. A touring exhibition Gallipoli; in search of a family story was shown most recently in Waiouru Army Museum 2008. Currently working on a volume with a working title, Longing and belonging, as part of the MA in Creative writing at Victoria University.
Bergson’s ball of string

Long after the wood is stacked for winter
and books are sorted, tabled by a fireside chair
when the first frost of autumn gives cause
to perhaps pause a little, in the face of passing
mirrors, a line or two curls round the edge

when each morning becomes a cognitive act
an assemblage of teeth, hearing aids, spectacles
navigated as a belated commencement ceremony
the mind silently gives thanks that things still work
an act of acquaintance with many small losses

any denial of reckoning - ‘another day more
another day less’ - if you will, is not for this kid
Bergson’s ball of philosophy winds on, capturing
space, celebrating new light, fighting back

Broken bottles

Inside the glass splinter, fine art finds reasons, reflecting
across surfaces. I’ve never really felt comfortable with waves
the way they pick up your body, displacement inside a moving
plain, out of control, the way paint brushes slip just when
you’ve got rhythm in your fingertips. A fine vision etherised.
Watch that stray bitch, picking a way through the trees.
We can be a bit like that, not quite certain of a way forward
shuffle, change tack, stop, and then – as we like to simplify -
she must be looking for food. Nose to the ground she’s reading
different books from the bible of any sect, mange might not mean
poor in spirit, just on the run, homeless, forfeit of faith
not necessarily another beating. Put simply, she’s slipped
the collar that tied her to someone else’s back porch.
Down here by the beach, she’ll find; half a sandwich
chip wrappers, rabbits eating plantain, rats under the bach
at times rotting fish and broken bottles, who knows –
without the money to buy paints and canvas, her take on
this holy sunset over the waves may just mean living in
that moment - colour and sound combining, to do whatever
the smell of salt spray does, when the tide leaves us stranded
unable to tell a living soul what we just might once, have seen.