Michele Leggott


altocumulus lenticularis     made
from standing waves of moist air
over mountains     or islands
visual cover for UFOs     ice-bright
back-lit seraphim     sought out
by sail pilots for lift     and the birds flying
east from Rose Hill
where the banker’s wife has been
set down with her t’s uncrossed
rosella by any other name     shyest
of the little parrots encountered
by the Rose Hillers in their wagons
and unfailing westerlies
blew them over the sea to us

the way a sweet briar
got from one mission station to another
sailing sometime after 1814
Parramatta to Rangihoua     by the brig
that brought the trade goods in
and took the young men back
for training on the other shore     those
Rhodes Scholars     programmed
to return and guide the settlers in
agriculturalists and mechanics
with their bramble in a coffee cup
and supplies for a long and profitable
sojourn     was it ever like
the Christmas stamp     preaching
to a throng of people on a wave lift

not on a snowy night     by star
or candlelight     nor by an angel band

the rosellas flew overhead
that summer day     scarlet anomalies
the content management system
couldn’t predict     standing
on its grassy ground in the quiet bay
claiming souls for the great word

and dealing arms on the side
what were they thinking of     not
the lenticular cloud over the mountain
where the first wave hits
and under certain conditions     strings
of standing lenticularis arrive
near successive crests
creating the formation known as
a wave cloud      visible impact
of angelic flight     and lower down
but no less telling     the strawberry thief
tootles through his green brocade
each day     a pocket Parramatta
or a Rangihoua rose     earthly dwellings
for the Word and a blur of wings
keeping it completely simple
an ancient lineage and a distant relationship
with the pigeons and the doves

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