Poetry Shelf Autumn Season: Poets pick a word – Michael Harlow picks light (and dark)


A glancing smile


On a run-down street, its sagging buildings, cracked footpaths

and stunted trees, shadows everywhere and on the move.

And passing by, here’s that someone you will never know,

with a glancing smile in her eyes that’s meant to touch yours,

for no other reason than it must—for the shortest, longest time.

That wakes someone in yourself who wants to say, despite

all the running darkness in the world, that just now, there is

out of the dark the light, inside a glancing smile.


©Michael Harlow 2017


Michael Harlow’s Nothing For It But To Sing, won the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry and is published by Otago University Press.  He has been awarded the Beatson Prize for poetry, and in 2014 the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Distinguished Contribution to Poetry in NZ.  He has published tens books of poetry, two of which have been shortlisted for the National Book Awards.  In collaboration with NZ-Suisse composer Kit Powell, as a librettist he has composed some thirteen Performance Works, many of which have been performed in Switzerland, Germany, France and New Zealand.  He lives in Central Otago (NZ) and works as a writer, editor, and Jungian therapist.









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