Journal » Trout 15 » Distinctions [Craig Cliff]
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Craig Cliff

The word ‘tremendous’
invites puns about great
redwoods and totara,
but it is better to avoid them.
You must say it slowly,
like the passage of an ocean
liner, and with a shudder
in your voice –
for tremors are at the root
of tremendous things.

I was standing by the cold statue of a general,
both of us waiting for the sun to rise above the
buildings, when the truck that sweeps the streets
sucked the stray dog in and never spat it out.


The power of ‘remarkable’
is deflated because I grew
up in Remarkable Lane –
it was a neighbourhood
of mountains: Cook Street
Aspiring Place, Ruapehu Way –
so even though I can still
see mountains in these words,
they are nothing
to write home about.

I was standing by the cold statue of a general
Thinking about the holiday when my mother hit
A sheepdog and my father told her to keep driving,
And how I could never tell her what just happened.


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© Copyright 2008 Craig Cliff & Trout.