The Ice Man

In fugutive silence
Under cover of darkness
in the witching hour
a flinty graffiti artist slopes along
Spiky cartoons, he draws, and leggy figures
The ice man

He scatters spicules of snow in geometric flecks
Catches time in mid tick like a stopwatch
Splinters the river into shattered fossils
ferns, feathers and fish bones
forms clocks of ice with crazy fissured angles
and cutting edge architecture –
a chaotic kitchen, gazing at the stars
open to the stars
complete with icicle cutlery,  he’s proud of his icicles

Magics up a looking glass world of ice and fire
castles and kaleidoscopes
immediate as an ice axe but old as Saturn
whose moon, Encephaladus, is rumoured
to harbour ice-covered oceans

We three follow soon after with the sun – in rarefied air
poking holes and slithering on the steps
crunch, click and snap
oh look – there’s a gap toothed kraken creeping up out of the pool under the bridge

If you taste it, it’s cold as electricity but rather gritty
Peter tests a frozen tarn and gets one wet foot
We sit on our raincoats in a friendly triangle
cooking up hot noodles and dividing an apple
Max’s tripod helps keep the billy warm

 

The Vanishing House

 There is a house on Grange Road, near the bottom on the south side.
Number 100.
I think that’s a clue that herein lies a secret…
one hundred what?
A hundred-year-old witch?
A princess asleep for one hundred years?
one hundred years of solitude?

Meanwhile, a forest is growing
A tall frangipani is tangled to the top
in wisteria, jasmine and rose.
A great dark puriri leers
The brown wooden gate has been pulled off it’s hinges by ivy
and mixed vines half smother the peeling garage.
The hedge is so weedy and overgrown that I’d need to be riding a horse to see over it.

The garden path forks as you step down round a corner.
One way is clearly more travelled –
the other, houses the bins, but used to go round the back.
Once tidy hydrangeas and lasiandras, now wild and wonderful,
almost obscure everything.
but peering through like a wondering prince
I can still see sturdy brown posts
and much mildewed cream weatherboards, fret work and finials splotched by lichen.

Two rough brick chimneys tower like turrets
on either side, the other houses carefully pretend nothing is going on
Their hedges are trimmed ship-shape,
Their stone walls are chiselled to weedless perfection:
“We don’t hold with that sort of thing”, they say.
“Not in this demographic!”
So of course, princess and all, it simply doesn’t exist.