This Time

This Time

These are the stars of poetry
Too good to be true
Over the hills
And in the brim-full bay;

And this, that ultimate coin
The dead exchange -
Silence.

Unscrew your ears?
Put them away for good?
No. Unstop them.
You’re not a spirit.
Listen.
Dews gather at an edge and
Drop. Drop
On frosted blades.

Even such small
Crystalline vocables
Tell time.

Count them.
Count yourself lucky.


‘This Time’, from Straw Into Gold, Poems New & Selected (Auckland University Press, 1997), © C K Stead 1997, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

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