an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Christopher Palmer

Kettle

Christopher Palmer

Published on
page 32 of Tarot #4
(June 2022)

Servile at first glance
as close as a favourite pet.

Upright, always exactly level
it greets us with blanched whiteness–

the modern kitchen’s sunny fixture.
A simple press of a button

and it shivers and stirs
–a murmur lifting to a roar–

repeating itself with every gesture
but longing to be asked a different question

to have another answer.
In the lamplight, magnified against the wall

it projects itself onto a silver screen
striding high overhead, animate and elsewhere.

Containing the medium for life
it wonders about its maker when not in use

but is sterile inside.
Time is a slow drip within.

Conversation slips on smooth walls
until, after perhaps a thousand attempts

freedom comes at the end of a short lead
filling the night with its escape

the brittle, burnt out wires
a knot of fused colour

Family Business

Christopher Palmer

Published on
page 40 of Tarot #4
(June 2022)

For 50p I’d fill a bucket with stones;
the garden like a subterranean gibber plain.

I’d try to work out the monetary fraction
each stone represented;

what grain of time was held
within each rough or rounded shape.

Once, I filled it mostly with dirt
but you dug down like an excavator

exposing my fraud
growling at me to start again.

When I told you to shut up
a hydraulic boom and bucket

quieted me for three days.
We had to start again.