Golden calves

Three poems by H. Mark Webster

Morrie thou; six-four, and


Galligaskins –

Easy, easy

Beach bums at the house next door;

I knew something was wrong

As soon as I saw them

Messing with the Colonel’s eggs;

Memory overload in ’74;

Memory overload in ’08;

Will you put that thing down?

They came over here when they noticed.

And they invited me in

As soon as I saw the lassie with knuckledusters

Crisscrossing the linoleum.

Beggars belief –

Last week; years later –

But she ended up in the bin;

Not someone less forceful;

Not someone more susceptible to the frighteners,

To the gloom, and to the competition.

Years later; last week.


East transept, west transept –

Child throws a hissy fit,

Brothering axe to spoke –

Goodly fere ’twixt pissoir and post.

Ah, this is not the last time I will conceive of your indolence

Bastardized with shrewdness of puce and fire;

In spite of the fact that your gratitude is sliding – and has shifted

And will choke.


Wherever one lacks sweat,

Must they spit –


And anguish;


In the treetops;

Twigs, leaves, hand, ear;

Quite within the bosom of puissance

Are we not to be besotted.

Land of Cockaygne.


Wherever one lacks spittle,

Must they sweat;

Either blood is never enough

Or there is not enough for us.

H. Mark Webster's previous publishing credits include work in Anastamoo, Poems Niederngasse, elimae, printout, Blackmail Press, and otoliths. He currently lectures in cultural studies and literature at IPU NZ in Palmerston North.