Mark Pirie

Polar Bears

For Bjørn Lomborg

polar bears
are dying off
melting slowly
with the ice bergs
of global warming
          	like this poem
                    		drifting off
                              			into the sea
                                        				but let’s make 
                                                  				wave energy
                              			and bring them back
                    		to safety
or maybe lower our guns
a fraction.

Thinking of Hemingway

I Google
the Irati River, Spain
and find
literary fishing tours
relating to passages
from Hemingway’s
1920s novel.
His prose has elements
of the travel writer.
After all, he was going
to write non-fiction,
not novels.
The hardness has endured,
his modern and frank
writing, of the jazz age.
I think he would
Smile at the literary fishing tours
given his old man and the sea,
and raise a glass.

For art’s sake

                    	the journalist
                    	the art
                    	the artist
                    	the story
                              			the devil in the detail


(A Post Lockdown Blues)

I stand on a motorway bridge
and the traffic is gone, eerie,
as if I am in a scene from
The Quiet Earth. Who am I?

It’s jazz, a drummer I once saw
on the stage at Mountain Rock…
Bruno Lawrence, it is, the legend
of ‘80s film. The cancer

took him out well before lockdown.
I walked his cinematic walk
like it was him in the deserted city,
the quiet streets beating without rhythm. 

Mark Pirie (b.1974) is an internationally published New Zealand poet, editor, publisher and archivist for PANZA (Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa). In 2016, his selected poems, Rock & Roll, was published by Bareknuckle Books, Australia (available from the publisher's website: http://www.bareknucklebooks.com/authors/mark-pirie/). Other books include a biography, Tom Lawn, Mystery Forward (ESAW, 2018), an artbook Folk Punk (2020) and Gallery (poetry) published by Salt, England, 2003. He is a former founder/editor of JAAM, 1995-2005, publisher for HeadworX 1998-, and currently edits broadsheet: new new zealand poetry, 2008-. Website: www.markpirie.com.
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