nice feijoas

sometimes you meet the title
walking home and the first lines
present themselves at the corner
as you turn and the low slant of the sun
means they haven't turned off
daylight saving this year though
the computers switched yesterday
and we fell back not even noticing
the difference   dark mornings
for long evenings      a good trade
but the sign at the neighbour's gate
goes out on tree time and that's
the tuning to set feet walking
over the easily deceived surface
of the waking mind      gold coins
for bags of fruit by the blackboard
under the jacaranda      the clock
at the gate the clock on the screen
and somewhere between them
whatever it is to be done as the day
shakes a leg and the heart puts up

its fun      September's Baccalaureate
a perfect mirror from somewhere else
crickets crows and retrospects      that view
we swim towards in the flat blue water
full of mangrove seeds and the bities
that get between lycra and skin
when the sea is warm and the moon
flies up each night towards Easter

they thought the dog might not
pull through a night to forget
I carried her in my arms when she
could not walk and someone
on the other side of the park
gave us a ride to the clinic      a drip
and many gold coins later
she is ok and the cnidaria stings
have worked their poison out
of our unlovely hides      everyone
sleeps better and is looking forward
to hot cross buns      the togs drip dry
washed out with soap to eliminate
the locomotion of jellyfish
and the poet philosophers turn back
to their elegant connection
of continents and light

Michele Leggott's sixth collection of poems, Mirabile Dictu, was published in June 2009 by Auckland University Press, together with an audio CD of selected poems, Michele Leggott / The Laureate Series, from Braeburn and Jayrem. Michele continues to coordinate the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) at the University of Auckland and was the Inaugural New Zealand Poet Laureate 2008–09.

Leggott comments: ' "nice feijoas" is a sign that appears each year in the neighbourhood, chalked on a blackboard near a table with bags of fruit and an icecream container for the money. It's a sign of late summer, as the light begins to change and your old dog reaches a steep patch in her decline, which is not yet a goodbye. In fact, she made it through the Mirabile Dictu poems; her ghost is present in writing that came afterwards and points to the time when a guide dog might enter our lives.

Poem source details >



New Zealand Poet Laureate 15 May 2009: r.i.p. pearl 1994–2009
nzepc – New Zealand Elecrtronic Poetry Centre: online work