Three poems

by Reuben Scott

The Smallest Thing in the World

I tried to spawn a thought by writing

                this thought will disappear,

to see what words would follow,

what meanings would confess,

               threatening the thought’s erasure

               before it even existed.

Then this thought,

this hope for an epiphany,

quietly undressed in front of me:

the smallest thing in the world

              unveiled its enormity.

              This thought,

a confession,

that only the blankest mind

might recognise something as small as a

       stillborn thought;

might see a dead head as the container

                            of nothing at all.

Reuben Scott is a 22 year old musician and English Honours student at the

University of Otago. His writing for Dunedin punk four-piece Three Quarter Marathon has

landed two of the band’s songs, Caught and Wonderment, in Radio One’s top eleven chart for

more than seven weeks consecutively.

So if not me, remember this

    untitled word ribbon,

       tied up in all the gloom

           of this one borrowed line:

You should remember me.

You, who I’m sure adored


           Told me to be bigger,

enormous and worth speaking of.

So, why my name rings no bell

I can’t say;

           there is shrinking

           and there is distance,

           there are misremembered lyrics,

but a name, once so often nearby,

ringing all of your bells, all up in

           your life,

           should be at least remembered,

           if not tied in red ribbons.

Mine is immune to age,

yet sick in some way.

To be forgettable, I now know

is the death of all names.

      So I might name it at the end,

           like this veil finally lifted,

then you’ll be listening for the name:

Old Words No Different

The Biggest Thing In The World

I can see it through my bedroom window, 

The Biggest Thing in the World,

so small in the distance,

called ‘astronomical’ on Earth.


Once in a while you say, 

whilst glancing at the enormity,

‘Should we go see it, one day? 

This towering thing everyone calls great.’


I nod and hum a solemn yes,

but alone, I wonder:

what is the point of visiting 

The Biggest Thing in the World

if that is what I expect to see?


Because so easily, I can imagine bigger things:

     A tower that reaches half-way to the moon,

     A mountain that sits like a hat on the Earth. 

     One day, there might be a dome over New York, 

     and half of the world is employed to clean it, 

     and one day, new continents might rise from the sea,

     with armies bearing cannons that shoot whales, 

     and use planes that we have lost as swords.


I can see things far bigger

than has ever existed.

So, if I visit this big thing, 

I know I will be disappointed,

because I will not be looking up 

at The Biggest Thing in the World,

but my mind will be somewhere above

looking down on it.