Poem — Michael Harlow

No problem, but not easy


This is the Green Man
He lives at the corner of Hello Street and Goodbye.
He lives in a house. Alchemy House.

When you stand close to him
He is surely a man, you can see that
Sometimes, even, he has a beard.

And there are times when you see him
From afar, say, from across the room
He is also a woman.

Now, she is the Green Woman.
This is the way it is.

Sometimes he is friendly
Always in a hurry to be singing.
Sometimes she is not unfriendly
She is full of lightness, and music.

And there are times when he is quite terrible
Full of fire, you had better watch out.
And sometimes she is quite bossy
Even wicked, be careful.

Which is the way it is.

And you know, sometimes even they go to war.
There, is destruction all over the place.

And of course there are times
When they lie down in each other’s arms
And they touch each other again and again.

And this is the way it is:
No problem, but not easy.


Michael Harlow


From Giotto’s Elephant (McIndoe, Dunedin, 1991)



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