Tony Beyer

Shooting script

meltwater streams over the width
of the weir like a cinema curtain 

back in the fifties when the screen 
was squarer colours more garish

and a good Indian required the application 
of half a can of cocoa powder

(if one were to fall in here
a sweet stain would descend from him

in the inevitable direction of the sea)
and there were beard and bathrobe epics

men with gigantic pecs 
hurling boulders into the tide

the ripples felt as far from the studio
as this small susceptible outpost


The ant’s a centaur 
                               in his dragon world
especially when one
                               climbs into your eye

& seems to grip the sclera
                               with many more than six
intrusive limbs a blink
                               should easily dislodge

but just makes worse
                               the vulnerable tunnel
to the brain where
                               Polyphemos & blind

Gloucester stumbled
                              	holding up their hands
to execrate the dark’s
                              	destructive anonymity

thus women grieve whose 
                               world has been expunged 
Andromache & Hecuba 
                              	mottled with fire & tears

then you must also weep 
                               as an oyster exudes pearl
to flush out the diminutive
                               instigator of such annoyances 

Ngarango o Tainui

where Hoturoa finally lowered the stone
                                                			      silted up with the tides
through generation after generation
                                           		          becoming welcome ground
for blown-in grass seed mangroves
                                        		          stunted pohutukawa
fertilised by blood sludge
                                              from the meatworks
but also washing away
                                         according to real estate specs
circa 2008 
                    3288m sq and a guestimate 
average elevation 19m 
                                        unlikely even at the lowest low tide
(never trust a man
                                  with a theodolite
or one who can’t in plain words
                                           	       explain what he’s up to
or won’t)
                stubbornly plugged into the upper
Mangere Inlet
                         past both bridges
nearer the southern shore and Westfield
                                                			      railway yards
striped with far more tracks
                                        	 than will ever be used again
a legal comma
                          in the draft of the landscape
similar in shape to the
                                       human heart from the air
the name given to many places
                                               	     just as there are many islands
motes in the ocean’s
                                    open eye 


there’s no ancient history
                                              in this country
apart from the whakapapa
                                              representing a continuity nearly
but not broken 
                            150 years ago
and that unfinished record written
                                                 	          sharply by the shadows
the dawn sun casts on the ground
                                                           beyond the buildings of the pakeha
(beware those who list things
                                               	   other than human names)

Ulutoa & Sons Taste of Samoa The Hangi Shop haere mai ki te wharekai
in the curve of Mangere Rd                                               to the Great South Rd the nation remaking itself into what it will become from Hawaiki by stages island to island to these islands perhaps never a fleet as such tortured into Géricault poses by starvation and thirst but single waka double hulled solid decked sisal rigged tilted woven flax sails some never heard from again others caught up with by a later voyage’s crew guided by constellations by knots in a fibre strand when the night was blank the smell of vegetation on the wind rivers’ outlet silt staining the sea birds curving the edge of the horizon somewhere to the north the west the east an island brims overflows with its hardiest venturers time turns into ancestors Tony Beyer writes in Taranaki, New Zealand. His published work includes Anchor Stone (2017) and Friday Prayers (2019), both from Cold Hub Press, and appearances in Hamilton Stone Review, Mudlark, Otoliths and elsewhere.    
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