Wes Lee

The Large Magnifying Glass

I held the large magnifying glass 
to images that started to move like mini-films. 
I wanted to hear the voices.
When we were children
and we had a kind of cushioning.
My father turns towards the camera,	
drinking and staring. 
My mother is fixing something 
in the galley kitchen, not realising 
she is being filmed.
When she realises, withdraws.

When I'm Quiet

When I'm quiet, often writing a poem, 
I will feel a great blow to the back of my head.
Blood perhaps bubbling from my nose.
A cataclysmic jolt of surprise and horror.

The blunt stick of wood. The caveman's tool 
clutched. And that beautiful head,
the one that did so much, that cold head, 
that warm blood flowing head 
is knocked to the extreme angle.

The human may be a creeping shoe 
in my head. A soft-soled shoe purchased 
with surprise in mind. And the human may be 
the ball of the foot, a light connectivity with earth
with the floor that has been built upon it.


'Fast Car' comes on 
over the cafe speaker.
I long for cover —
to wear 
dark sunglasses again. 
Asked by the therapist 
to take them off.
What words did she use?
If you please.
If you can.
Gently tapping her temple;
brushing her eyeline.
Offering a quick,
pensive smile.

Wes Lee lives in Paekakariki on the Kāpiti Coast of New Zealand. Her latest poetry collection By the Lapels 
was launched in Wellington (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2019). Her work has appeared in Best New Zealand 
Poems, Cordite, The Australian Poetry Journal, Westerly, The New Zealand Listener, among others. Most 
recently she was awarded the Poetry New Zealand Prize 2019 by Massey University Press.
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