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It's April now, and autumn comes,
Cooling sun and bearing leaves
To the indistinctions of the earth;
The long rain falls through its own forever
And joints remember
Their pain, injury and endeavour.
This time last year I turned my calender
To a picture of Lothlorien in spring,
Where canticles of sunlight
Envision the summer;
Wondering if the slow, sure turn of the year
Would entail the growth of my spirit.

Traffic throngs the city streets
As pub and cinema decant
Their patrons to the night.
I pick my way between the drunks
From Queen Street to K Road.
Music loiters in the streets;
I feed on grease and chips.

The roads slow down
As the last commuter
Returns to the habituations of home,
To alcohol's withdrawal and television's drug.

The yellow moon flares in the trees
Above streets of caesura.
It is quite now, save where,
In Swanson Street,
The Globe chambers burn
Stronger toward midnight.

Deeper into the night,
My fever burns.
Cold consumes my limbs, and pressure
Clogs in my skull.
My dreams
Are monstrous:
The silenced cities of an earthquake world.
I suffocate, and wake
To a room clotted with darkness.
My bulk is sway depth
Ponderous with fever.
I affirm the existence of the world
With Radio Hauraki: the music
Is muffled by influenza.
I travel corridors shadowed and surreal
For orange juice and milk.
Down the motorway
Cars mammoth through the night.

My calendar shows the month as April.
This time last year I travelled
Early down the Southern Motorway
Where violet telephone boxes close
Upon the empty embryo mouths within.
I have sat back in a van
To office, hall and pub -
Houses of good repute
Where guards shoot pool,
Where we
Grime the dust into our hands
With vacuum cleaner, brush and broom,
By ornate bars where bottles preside,
Confident of their consecration.
I have ridden early, dazed by sleep,
To Queen Street construction
Where coffee sours the air through night to dawn.

The night, this month,
I hold a vigil,
Night to dawn.
My breath
Sharpens in the air
As latex moon dissolves to dawn.
The sun breeds colour in the sky
Where deeper reds tan into gold
Toward the zenith.
The red iron coin
Melts in the sky
And ennervates my eye.

This month, this year, I turn a calendar
To a picture of Lothlorien in spring,
Questing the season -
Wondering if the slow, sure change of the year
Will entail the growth of my spirit.

Copyright © 1977, 2003 Hugh Cook

Picture of front cover of ARC OF LIGHT poetry collection by Hugh Cook.

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