Press » David Howard » Shebang » A darker purpose
   «       1       2       3       4       5       6    7    8       9       10       »   


A darker purpose

Thomas Kendall 1778–1832

Moreporks pick at robbers’ corpses
(‘to publish the glad tidings
of the Gospel’) on the Roman cross
over Kawakawa River

while a Maori dyes flax
black with hinahina berries
for basket-work

When mackerel cloud swims
over the moon
Reverend Kendall’s campfire spears
the river’s eel.

A heron’s leg measures
the shallows. A skipping stone
‘moves in mysterious ways’
to cripple the bird.

Concentric circles
clone the missionary’s shadow;
every curve refers
to its centre.

31.5.1983-1.5.1984, Clifton Terrace, Wellington.
1st Prize, The Gordon & Gotch Poetry Competition, 1984


 « contents » 
© Copyright 2024 David Howard & Trout.