“Meaning Less”

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life […] I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” — Henry David Thoreau


Sometimes he tries to think of

deep and meaningful stuff

to fill some lines with,

casting into in a sea of words,

swimming and scattering

with the flashing silver fish.


‘There’s only so much to say

about a sunset’ he thinks,

walking along a beach

as the distant dunes become

violet with distance,

shimmering in the wind.


But that sunset repeats

over and over the world.

There is a place, right now,

where the earth rises into night,

sinks, spinning, into morning:

the poetry of motion renewed.


It’s not meaningful,

but it makes him smile,

sitting on the beach

as the light changes.

His is a meaningless life

lived to its deepest.

“Halfway House”

‘… but shalt possess

A paradise within thee, happier far”

— Paradise Lost, XII, 585-6


Sometimes he feels like

the mathematical man,

always walking

halfway home.


It’s kind of exciting,

to walk with

somewhere to go,

knowing that he’ll never

quite get there.


That he will always

be touched by


lacking homogeneity.

It’s only when he finds

infinity within

that he’ll realise how

close he’s been,

all this time.

“Metaphorically Speaking”

Religion intrigues me,

although I seek no sermon,

just Joseph Campbell’s

God as metaphor,

which must mean

we are but figures

on the stage

of speech.


My god is

a rainbow-melted hill on fire

and a butterfly’s silhouette

against the stratified sky,

burnt to apricot by sunset.

Despite a weakness for dice,

she knows Einstein

and has forgotten the church.


(It appears that my link to Joseph Campbell’s 1987 Hero’s Journey has been ‘removed by user’. Nevertheless, if you don’t know him, do yourself a favour and look the man up. He was epic. Literally.)

“Sunday Afternoon”

“And then my heart with pleasure fills

and dances with the daffodils” — William Wordsworth


I walked into nature today,

not the nature I know,

although the cicadas sound similar,

if less insistently symphonic

then still cymbalic.


Nature’s static

crackled across the

antennae of trees;

broken phrases punctuated

by beautiful words.


Words like Wordsworth’s

lonely, long-white clouds

and blissful solitude,

flooding in with the tide

through the mangroves.


Those trees strike a note:

ecosystem engineers

which survive daily change

orchestrated by cosmic force

(and the cicadas)


I came no closer to knowing

the secret of life.

But, perhaps I came closer

to life.

Maybe that’s the secret?



‘All of my desires abolished by the plenitude of their satisfaction’

— Roland Barthes


I do surrender,

as often as I can,

not often enough.

How else do we find

the words, the worlds

within our minds?


Happiness is an exercise

in letting pain go,

in remembering

windy nights,

unexpected kisses,

lovers of the light.


Leave me smashed

in the arms of rapture,

living life to

the point of tears:

stubbornness is useless

in overcoming fear.



“Cosmic Heroism”

I have always thought


a strong word.

It seems sonorous,

ringing through the ages,

resonating with experience

and giving unsuspected


to the otherwise pathetic,

fear-filled and trembling

human creature cowering

before creation’s majesty.



the hope for possibility

and the recognition that

even possibility is not

positive or negative.

It just is, like justice,

and cannot be


or called upon.

Where to find our

uniquely human solution?



A giving of the self

to the beyond,

whatever name you

randomly assign it.

And then there’s love

and sex and surfing,

but you know all that

and more already.

Even a rage against

the dying light

is simply a

prayer to endure.

“My God”

God is a different colour here:

green and grey,

less dramatic,

made up of different names

which are more lyrical

like Rangitoto and Matutapu

and Piha, as if in celebration,

exclamation of another happiness.


The expressions are foreign

and the colours different,

but a rainbow looks the same

driving along a volcanic plateau

so that the seven stripes

run with the rain,

making a ridgetop catch alight

in green and yellowred flame.


God is a different colour here,

but that a god exists

is unquestionable –

the burning mountain proves it.

Such deities do not interfere

or guide our chaotic lives.

God waits to be found

in foreign sounds and new sights.


There is no book which describes

my multi-coloured god.

No combination of words which

convince me of my cohabitation

with the divine.

There is just my pencil,

a rainbow-melted hill on fire

and miles to go before I sleep.