If it might be said that you have
hopes and fears, would you say you
have more hopes than fears, or more
fears than hopes? Padget Powell
For summer seems always more or less sudden.
For the wild geranium is coral-pink.
For my little bit of a garden hasn't flourished.
For monarch butterflies enliven the morning.
For they do this silently, but silently.
For the birds out there look angular and fell.
For I'll be sixty next birthday.
For I haven't stopped smoking yet.
For the tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
For Gerry has moved into his new pad.
For Moonbiscuit Smith is singing sweet and low.
For Moonbiscuit plays the ancient billabong.
For Gerry's yellow tuk-tu is dotted with tiny decals.
For people no longer read Jorge Luis Borges.
For summer's rusty gravels are enduring.
For summer's orange lichens are abiding.
Geoff Cochrane lives in Wellington, of which he seldom tires. In 2009 he received the Janet Frame Award for Poetry. He is looking forward to having Dan Kircher film his short story, ‘Movie’.
Cochrane comments: ‘This “For...” device was employed by Christopher Smart and taken up more recently by Wendy Cope. In “Jubilate Agno” (1761), Smart considers his wonderful cat, Jeoffry (indeed), and the piece is remarkable for lines like the following: “For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery”; “For by stroking of him I have found out electricity”; “For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon”; “For he is good to think upon, if a man would express himself neatly”.’