O LITTLE TOWN OF LYTTELTON


For Anke Richter

Well of souls chaliced in
its gothic rampart of hills
fit for Walpurgisnacht
when the pewter
lid comes down.
Weatherboard villas,
limpet shacks,
occasional modernist intruders,
lean-to kitchens
and vertical driveways
in some impossible,
gravity-defying
Escher woodcut,
while down in the crater
shipping crates perform
like Georgian dancers
to a diesel thrum
and heated conversations
in Russian and Korean.

A port is welcome,
passive and receptive,
a Narnia at the back of
Christchurch’s wardrobe.

A port is glasnost,
our diplomatic
accommodation
with the coastline-

chewing sea.


Previously published in Quietus: Observations of an Altered City, Analogue House, 2012.

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