an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Gregory Dally

Leaving Orua (The Last of the Estuary’s Sun)

Gregory Dally

Published on
page 40 of Tarot #2
(June 2021)

It could be called piquant, the tang
left by a haystack once it’s dried.
The rain has dispersed. You breathe in.
It’s an indulgence that has you imagining tussock fire.

These vapours can only keep moving your atoms
in a quest for the ultimate condition.
You assay the tide’s fleet of shivers
around your legs and your mind. It’s soothing

to take in the coolness on light rays
turned in jade over your head. This is the start
of a journey, even though your shuffle
disturbs the outline of the current for just an instant

then masquerades as an imprint
enmeshed among ancient silicates. All memories
have vanished. That’s apropos for a traveller giving in
to the night’s encouragement. It’s time to swim.

As you edge from the shore, the hills diminish.
Your shadow evanesces too, absorbed in ripples.
It’s easy to make ideas lucid, using a talent
to read the surface like a glut of clues.

Can a clone of a girl who ceased to exist
dream herself human again? Secluded in eddies
that your thrashing assembles, you sing. The hush in a vortex,
you’re harmonic to gulls combing melodies from the Tasman.

The Anthropologist Evaluates Her Colleague’s Social Merit

Gregory Dally

Published on
page 55 of Tarot #2
(June 2021)

You smile, if a little thinly,
then hum, a positive havering

meant to defer the imminence of leaving.
This tactic draws out the pause

he’ll soon breathe in, your offering
to that grinning friend you think of as your supplement.

Endearments are accretions from lazy idioms.
The gas of thoughts issues. You love that fizzing.

There’s a hint attached to the stemming
of some undelivered verbs,

a frisson at the halt of air taken in.
An idea can be kept

in the sanctum of inhalation.
The act of not having said it

might amount to hesitance which appears kind.
The cotillion falls still now for an instant.

There’s time enough to move quietly to your rest
and then, if you fancy, at your leisure dismiss him.