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Monique Hodgkinson


once this close to the sea you can almost
hear it breathing (victorious)
when the old pines dance in furious metronomic
frenzy, when the water
leaps courageous terror flung
by elemental feuds

back to the sea, the old tide mark
my shellshocked haunt
where seaweed curls like hair, and in
the silver eyes of fish I see
my own
reflected over and again
like kōwhai nectar
or absent, trembling suns

and we
listen closely
now (now, hush)
for the thundering footsteps of passing giants

Three Separate Occurrences

1. mostly it is the echo of a van in a tunnel by the sea
the light which splinters into twelve
shades of dying
footsteps of ghosts along gravel
paths through the forest; the vampiric wilderness
in which I once drew blood.
I know the way the chills
catch in your teeth, and you spit them quick
like morning mouthwash

2. other times it is the smell of cooler days
harvest apples, the burrowing time
casting shadows we pattern, helpless
fish in the sea, rain on the

3. our collision is no shining accidental surprise
but inevitable, a closing of distance
Ranginui and Papatūānuku caught in rewind, our children crushed between us
it is not love which makes the world go round
but the slow turning of greater bodies, the planets
heaving one last circle, a final attempt
at sweet and solitary

Monique Hodgkinson has recently completed her thesis on painted poetry in New Zealand. She likes filling her house with succulents and spending a lot of time in art galleries.