Monday Poem: Albert Wendt’s ‘And so it is’



And so it is


we want so many things and much

What is real and not? What is the plan?


Our garden is an endless performance

of light and shadow  quick bird and insect palaver


The decisive wisdom of cut basil informs everything

teaches even the black rocks of the back divide to breathe


Blessed are the flowers  herbs and vegetables

Reina has planted in their healing loveliness


The hibiscus blooms want a language to describe their colour

I say the red of fresh blood or birth


A lone monarch butterfly flits from flower to flower

How temporary it all is  how fleeting the attention


The boundary palm with the gigantic Afro is a fecund nest

for the squabble of birds that wake us in the mornings


In two weeks of luscious rain and heat our lawn

is a wild scramble of green that wants no limits


Into the breathless blue sky the pohutukawa

in the corner of our back yard stretches and stretches


Invisible in its foliage a warbler weaves a delicate song

I want to capture and remember like I try to hold


all the people I’ve loved or love

as they disappear into the space before memory


Yesterday I pulled up the compost lid

to a buffet of delicious decay and fat worms feasting


Soil  earth  is our return  our last need and answer

beyond addictive reason  fear and desire


Despite all else the day will fulfil its cycle of light and dark

and I’ll continue to want much and take my chances


©Albert Wendt

March-April 2017


Albert Wendt has published many novels, collections of poetry and short stories, and edited numerous anthologies. Last week, along with four others, he was recognised as a New Zealand Icon at a medallion ceremony for his significant contribution to the Arts.












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