The obscure red corpse of the wine
breathes sleeping in dark, cool bottles,
dreaming of the sunlight on the vines
kissing the fat, sweet grape.
Agony pools, cooling in the scar,
searing sight screwed into two balls
of tormenting vision, ripening in
the golden cataracts of the sun.
Into the vacuum of the air,
the rim of the world where corkscrew vertigo
of space is Nature’s adamant rebuke
that all things die eventually.
The shining pebbles of the sun:
from shadow to sunlight is a knife edge.
Suicides hide in the wood.
This is a cooling planet,
it yet grows cold.
Men outlast gods, they cool.
In turn, we cool –
the planet outlasts us all.
The dove is the bird of Love,
it doesn’t come to flutter
around the goddess and coo,
it comes to roost and brood.
the oil-bright upper zone
bounds the fringe of trees
(there are no straight lines in Nature)
severing the hemispheres.
from the semantic bowels
The religion of compass
knows one thing
exists outside of it
and not: Oblivion.
An earlier version was published in Poetry NZ 20 in 2000.