IX - Huia

Two poems By Iain Britton


giving birth     fills a gap

the road freshly tarred

cambers through hills     the church

is on life support

it sings     then sinks

into nervous flickers


born out

of a half-dead rose

we stand near a clock

lost amongst autumn perennials

& toadstools in hats

a bronze huia

samples a hungry grace

giving birth is precisely why we’re here precisely why

it’s done     for we sit on this bench in the dark

like groomed nocturnal workers

almost touching

XII - Fragrant fallout

each winter

you unlock the cartographer’s imagery

conjuring up family trees of wildlife

you slip me into your envelope of flesh

into a dreamer’s method of loving

you pass the stares of animals

the affectation of religious facades

people smear their identities

again & again


i assimilate the early-bird pervasiveness

of a fragrant fallout     each winter

the hibiscus

sheds its unwanted colour schemes

each winter

i think of being with you

i pull you in

& drape myself in your blanket

Iain is an Aotearoa New Zealand poet from Palmerston North and author of several UK collections. Poems have been published or are forthcoming in Landfall, Poetry NZ Yearbook, Takahe, Harvard Review, Poetry (Chicago), The New York Times, Wild Court, New Humanist, Stand, Agenda, The Fortnightly Review, Cordite and others