After a print by Michel Tuffery
In this house you can never tell
when it’s raining, for the streams
sound all night outside our windows.
Tangaroa, his black form
ornamented with yellow fish,
stands above our bed, his head
slightly lowered, as though he
can never stop listening
to the running water
or the waves at the beach.
His world is full of bounty.
A blue kahawai swims at his feet.
Beside his dark legs a wash
of gold floods among
eager shapes of fish
hastening to adorn
the fabric of his body.
Poised in the harvest-laden sea
He treads the waves on our wall,
A fastidious and deliberate god,
content merely to demonstrate
how every flowing moment
of every day might be.
I love the bountifulness of this poem and the water and the fact of a god. John Horrocks, who was once a farmer in the Wairarapa and wrote wonderful poems about hills called Mount Misery and sheepdogs, lives close to the sea now (and close to where I live) and writes often of water. I remember hearing this poem read the first time and loving the movement of it, and the sounds. I have seen the Tuffery print too - it's fantastic. John's poem is included in Eastbourne (an anthology) which I am co-editing and is out soon.
When you've read this poem do go to the Tuesday Poem hub where a young South African has a wonderful sensual poem posted ...