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About the house seldom
Afield with our sheep
                    From my mother I learned ‘Our Father’
These were the years of my discretion
I vowed to keep my virginity
                    For as long as it pleased God


My voices promised to lead me to Paradise
‘Go, and whatever may come of it
Let it come’ I don’t know
                    A from B, Orleans from a broken wish-bone
‘Take up the banner of your Lord’
Sown with lilies, fringed with silk
                    Jesus Maria rubs the rust from my sword


While poplars scrub the sky’s underbelly
My horse’s hooves emboss the morning-star
                    They seal its heat in the steaming road
Our enemies hang from clouds with silver
Spilling from their pockets
                    The money-lenders come from Heaven

Late 1999, Faulder Avenue, Auckland


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