Poem – C K Stead

Tohunga Crescent

Across our street the Allen Curnow house
sold and garden-tidied and refurbished,
respectably letting as “AirBnB”

is home to wild parties, and just once
a riot bringing cop cars, a paddy wagon,
pepper spray and more than one arrest.

Always there’s rubbish at the roadside when
the random tenants leave. Tonight by morepork
and moonlight while the neighbour cats patrol

I’m watching Jeny walk in her ghostly gown
smiling and weeping, and here comes Allen alert
with a new poem needing to know at once

what I will make of it – but as I read
he seems to slide away among the trees
all darkness and displeasure. There’s a light

down at the Bay – that’s Graham with his spear,
full tide at midnight, and the water still
holding itself for something new to reflect.

Morning will disclose the pohutukawa
know it’s December, time for spectacular blossom –
but Jeny’s ambiguous tears have left me anxious

about those flashing lines of Allen light
seen and forgotten like the spell of weather
just gone we hadn’t known might be a blessing.


C K Stead

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