A boat though no more than a thought
might carry us, far from

the coast, as far as
we know. But

is it a ship then,
cresting and sounding? I think,

for its boasting, it’s just a boat
drifting down a difficult river —

now and then it runs aground
and that is where we live.

‘Boat’, from The Sounds (Victoria University Press, 1996), © Andrew Johnston 1996, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004, supplied by the Braeburn Studios.


Books by Andrew Johnston