Tony Beyer

The sights


too much time
in the room
with a view of hills
and balconied mansions
where no one ever
seems to sit
bored with looking
in this direction
where even a sign
of movement
nearly invisible
might be consoling


someone who knows
in which cupboards
skeletons are hidden
which legacies were
bartered for connection
and that nowhere
this scenic comes
without a price
or without older
configurations displaced
languages changed
and others dispossessed


white headed grasses
flower among power lines
and the houses
shut their eyes
as in a child’s drawing
inevitably curling smoke
above the chimneys
then a wider
more assertive swirl
in imitation
opposing an otherwise
Rita Angus sky


only by their teeth
can you tell they’re sisters
the new mother
and her satellite 
who adores the baby
and would like to have
one of her own
if the effort 
wasn’t so great
if there weren’t so many
more enticing prospects
on the horizon


as students 
they talk loudly
on the bus to each other
saying fucking all the time
the male ones
nearly always surly
as if waking from some vision
but no harm in them
these fortunate kids
each ordained
for a long life
of professional restraint


after a fire
in grim lodgings
on the indigent side of town
six dead and more to come
and the locals
advised to avoid
the area or wear masks
against asbestos
this morning’s news
another instance
of the immovable
non-feast and its sorrow

large dark birds
fly between the high-rises
up from the harbour
down from the hills
shadows floating after them
like smudges of ash
over the grid streets
careless intersections
plugged tunnels
too far gone
to be retrieved now
by mediation or consensus

Brent Wong’s prophecy

clouds carved out of marble
slide across the view
some seemingly populated
others the empty sarcophagi of gods

to be human is to invest
in vistas such as these
stood for hours at the easel
patiently layering azure

what’s on the ground is crisped by drought
removing trees watercourses natural obstacles
to the progress of progress

at the stroke of a pen
forests are endangered
and even the right of passage through air
birds are accustomed to is challenged

the time is coming when nothing happens
and the clouds don’t move
their windowless walls opaque and non-reflective
their inhabitants like the rest of us
no longer visible

a sky full of rocks like the sea

Tony Beyer writes in Taranaki, New Zealand. His print titles include Dream Boat: selected poems (HeadworX) and Anchor Stone (Cold Hub Press).
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