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Vaughan Gunson
New Zealand

spirits of the forest  Vanya Taule'alo
Vaughan Gunson is a writer and teacher living in Hikurangi, north of Whangarei. He has recently published two collections of poetry: 'this hill, all it's about is lifting it to a higher level' can be purchased through the publisher Steele Roberts
and 'Big Love Songs' is available as a Kindle ebook from

Catalogue of objects

The hand-made espresso cup
is satisfying
on my lips, on Tuesday.
the one I bought from Kate.

And if I wished
I could imagine the touch
of those classical lips

on the woman’s face
painted on the cup, quickly
just a few lines with a thin
-ish brush, twice.

Once, full-frontal
her nose a straight line to her brow
between pendulous eyes:
dabs of black run
into a wash of sea-green.

The other, her face lying down
looking over the curved hill
of her shoulder, described
with one stroke

         ―do I objectify
like Matisse?
Perhaps. Because you are away from me
and the woman on my cup
she has your face.

Odysseus at home

Opened the door at midnight, it was summer.
Walked out naked onto the deck,
the wood beneath my feet almost soft.

Stood in the orange-glow of the street light,
silent houses across the road facing,
the blue-black sky curtaining down
behind their peaked roofs. 

Cars and trucks on State Highway One:
a constant echoing roar, interrupted
by the bark of a dog on Clark Street
which sets off other dogs, noise-spots
that map the town around me.

The air is warm, nothing bothers.
I stand there, scanning the stars,
which have no names, not here, not now. 

At just the right time, when consciousness
of a moment has registered and passed,
you call out:
                           “What are you doing?”