Celebrating a year on Poetry Shelf: Four short poems by Bill Manhire



Top Dance Moves

You stand around not knowing what to do.

Then music comes and puts

its foot inside your shoe.



The E-mail Lover

Such clumsy roads keep us apart!

If I could find

the old, hand-written heart.



Beyond the screen but not completely out of reach

I can just make out the blackboard

where the first of my teachers first wrote speech.



My World War I Poem

Inside each trench, the sound of prayer.

Inside each prayer, the sound of digging.


© Bill Manhire 2014



These couplets are from Top Dance Moves & other poems, a slim chapbook published by Marinera Press, Wellington 2014. Some you may recognise as Bill tweeted a few of the short poems in the book from @pacificraft. This glorious wee collection filled me with the joy of poetry — the way slender lines send tendrils into a past that jumpstarts, or a heart that pulls, or a melody that swings, or a present that makes believe. One of my favourite reads of the year.

Thanks to everyone who read, shared or contributed to my posts in 2014.

Warm regards for the summer break,

Paula Green




3 thoughts on “Celebrating a year on Poetry Shelf: Four short poems by Bill Manhire

  1. ejneale

    A buoyant way to fill NZ Poetry Shelf for the year, Paula! So many poetry-ophiles are grateful for all the work you put into reviewing and celebrating local writers, and keeping us up to date with new work. Warmest thanks from the south!



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