Fast Fibres 1 Broadsheet


They are measuring persimmons with callipers
for export to Japan
where they are called
Heavenly Fruit
And the people present them to each other
as gifts
The fruit must be ripe
or the taste is dry and bitter
If I give you heavenly fruit
will you reach for your callipers and
complain about the unripe taste?

Daphne de Jong

POEM 2143:

The colouring of stone
drawn out by water – pumice, the grays,
lava, even a murmur of orange
flat pebbles breathing on the bottom

light floats up
to the surface, a beauty lost in proof

and now, the light looking after itself
not bothering to go back in deep
a shimmer, shiftings, impressionistic
the clouds
taking away for themselves
some of the sheen

minute bubbles
gulp to the top to catch their breath

a smile
transitory on her throat,
she points to
stones like white doves
light practising all by itself
over and over
on the water.

Arthur Fairley

A man in his seventies who makes picnic tables at home

these tables are better than anything
you’d get in the big stores
he thinks they’re pieces of crap

I’m not telling a lie, but every time
someone comes to look at my tables
before going to the shops in town,
they always come back
he’s proud of his work
I don’t need to advertise,
just word of mouth
he’s a great example

I’m having a knee reconstruction
next week, my wrist’s buggered
and the doctor’s just told me
I’ve got shingles
he may be dead soon

I used to make four a day,
but I’m down to twenty a month
he’s got no regrets

I sell them for not much more
than cost: it’s a hobby really
he’s doing something with his life.

Vaughn Gunson


He is dark-limned,
streaks of topaz and black;
stirring the throbbing embers

with the crack-handled spade;
a sketch in charcoal.
Cindered sweat rolls from his brow,
black-tracking like moko.

A morepork gentles
the crackling
night with its croon.
He is still now,

staring at the stars; quantum-dreaming,
as likely as not,
and collecting time in the biting

Jac Jenkins

Ripiro Sunset

serrated holes
in a steel grey sky
where light streams through

liquid gold
suspended in

Jack McKerchar

The slow ophidian

The unravelling rain
In whirlwind flight

A sweep of beads of ribbons
A fluent carpet of grass

A white splendour of birds funereal
Clouding the sun

In an afternoon surrendering itself like Regina
The slow ophidian of waters slithering

The night jasmine
Opening a window to the breeze
A tapestry of clematis on the wall

A silver accordion of koheru splashing
And the intoxication of a hapuku

Subterranean rivers
And the flash of blinding blood
A solar-point on a coloratura of lustral wings

Drops of brilliance
The double star of love
Dazzling delirious

Piet Nieuwland

a dripping tap
Marilyn in New York

necking to almost wasp waisted thinness,
‘till it releases the elegant gem, splitting sunlight
into a blaze of red green blue gone
and impacts with ear jarring sound, leaps up again,
beautiful, as a spreading crown and
ebbs away.

The continual noise has awoken her, so
Marilyn moves to the faucet where
another drop has begun to swell. She watches
as it slowly builds from tiny pimple to
full grown boil, sees her own reflection in
its full grown curvature, looks
as the imaged phantom tumbles
into the sink.

She knows Arthur will return home soon and
the steady fall will be no longer hers.
In the shining chrome she sees herself reach forward,
her own distorted hand now hides her body,
and she withdraws to stare again, sighs, looks up
to see if she is there, still in control, still in the centre, and
the drop emerges, elongated…

Martin Porter


Here at river’s edge did the worst await me.
Soon the vista spreading before me proved my
favourite image as false, and saw this voyage
start with a sinking.

Many were those who waited to cross, too many
still for ferries fresh from a slipway. Shuffling
forward, so many faces betrayed the shock that
this was the passage.

Here time imperceptibly passed, its marking
knowing no day or night; the slowly snaking
miles I stumbled blurring before I reached the
point of embarkment.

Thoughts of farther shores then crumbled, whatever
chance of leaving lost when our guide declared my
obols obsolete, like relics cast in
previous epochs.

So I wander, spurned as a pauper, watching
others board and depart. This stony bank now
home for a hundred years; each black tide mocks my
dream of descending.

Aaron Robertson