Poems – Lauris Edmond

from Carnival of New Zealand Creatures

tuatara

The old survivor, tuatara,
reptilian great-grandfather,
observing with heavy-lidded eye
the still old centuries passing by;

slow little bloke in enamel coat
shedding his tail, croaking his croak,
his third eye watching world upon world,
an eternity to have, to hold.

 

cicadas

Cicada summer is
the kingdom of the shrill
to screech, to shriek
is everything,
to be silent is –
be ill.

In cicada air all day
singing’s a dizzy leap;
later, lower,
the slowly
cooling dusk is
cicada sleep.

 

stick insect

Wingless, harmless little stick
sidestepping the harshest season
by shrewdly playing dead:

you assert with a wordless rhetoric
– faith and instinct denying reason –
that flesh is one with wood.

 

sea horse

Quaint and curious knight of the chessboard,
your stately manoeuvres create
an innocent battleground of the sea:
there you advance, retreat,

across your illusory plain, erect
in finely plated mail,
refusing even to contemplate
the horizontal style.

 

Lauris Edmond

Carnival of New Zealand Creatures is to be performed at the Bay of Islands Festival in April, with music by Dorothy Buchanan.

An obituary of Lauris Edmond by Ken Arvidson appears on p23.

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