I turn away from roads,
sign-posted hot macadams:
roads on smooth roads curving
looping under, up and yonder
going leading nowhere.

I dream of roads
but seek instead a tumble
stumble-footed course I know
will earn me sad wounds
cutting deep to bone.

I have learned to love
too much perhaps
rough tracks hard of going
poorly lit by stars.

Night-long voyagings
have found no easy path
to the silent gate
that is the dawn —
the truth beyond
that is the banished city.

Hearing only the night-birds
booming ancient blasphemies:
moon-dark ease reflection
in the knocking stones
the river chortling.

‘Roads’, from Small Holes in the Silence: Collected Works (Godwit, Random House, 2011), © Hone Tuwhare 2011, used by permission of Rob Tuwhare on behalf of the Estate of Hone Estate. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004

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