Big Bounce Theory

It seems that many in the know
now favour a variation of the proposition
that the universe has always

breathed in and out like a giant lung—
and shall go on doing so forever.
There never was a start, it just goes BANG

and flies apart, then sort of reaches
the end of its elastic and bounces back.
Clockless time is the instrument

that swings it all—except that similes,
metaphors and analogies don’t solve a thing.
In fact, they screw up comprehension—

just as they’ve helped to get it wrong
for centuries—although it has to be said
that this is merely a trifling palpitation

of a micro-second in the greater scheme
of things—but, damn it, there I go again.
So it looks like we are destined comically

to create the same works without end.
Every so-many-billion years Michelangelo
gets another dab at it; Beethoven puts

a trumpet to his ear and blasts away.
And it has fascinating implications:
it’s droll to think that someone

almost like myself, not so very often,
reassembles from a fizz of dust,
picks up a marker, pen or chisel

and shapes letters, runes or hieroglyphs
and generates something rather along
these lines. Again, again, again …

Kevin Ireland lives in Devonport. As well as poetry, he has published a collection of short stories, Sleeping with the Angels, six novels, including Getting Away with It and Daisy Chains, and two memoirs, Under the Bridge and Over the Moon and Backwards to Forwards. Kevin was awarded an OBE for services to literature and has received numerous other awards, including the 2004 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement and in 2006 the AW Reed Award for his contribution to New Zealand literature. In 2000 he received an honorary doctorate from Massey University.

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Kevin Ireland's New Zealand Book Council writer file