an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Lee Jane Taylor

A Dream Life of Leto

Lee Jane Taylor

Published on
page 52 of Tarot #6
(June 2023)

An ancient has so much time for drowning.
She should burn, could be angry will be she thinks so many bloodied spites lists
once might have marked ridges in her mind amongst the free wheeling will again
lists pointless wasteful now, list and tip drip as water, enmity lays adrift in gaps
of atmosphere mass-less mast-less impervious to sense, revenge so many
spites but her fettered dusky points of mind spotting as it turns all sink and set
on this one unfairness of consciousness and night when she slips safe, submerged
in her twin kindnesses of silver silence and golden dark but finds her dream self
a true self, herself in perspective shrunk surrounded by hammered dimensional
tempera panels estimating life shining with deepest bias still working at finding
herself to somewhere, to some shore always slow weighted always tide tired might
ask Hineteiwaiwa, who maybe shifts a wisp points direction with a cloudy shadow
finger but Leto’s eyes swim black on the upside down of our phasing moon
dragging not only luggage but full wardrobes every needful thing stuffed
wired coils of time at her wrists, children of unsettled ages broken toboggans
worlds of asphalt       lifetimes of one       foot after another       waking to a want
of rage       against slog,       through sleep       but heat       only cools
at first breaths       to ash,       lifts away leaves
only handfuls of stones and the long
long slow       of falling beneath
the cold weights of seas
through the weightlessness

of cold

such are the ancient dreams
of Leto.


*Leto is a Greek goddess of motherhood idealised for her extreme suffering, cursed with landlessness during birth of the gods Apollo and Artemis

**Hineteiwaiwa in tikanga is the spiritual guardian of childbirth, weaving and cycles of the moon.


Lee Jane Taylor

Published on
page 53 of Tarot #6
(June 2023)

The horizon is not a ruled line it weaves into the unseen
it is a seam wearing thin between dreams and the exaltant
exhalation inhalation, the many one more steps the seems
      the street below has set up bunting white orange day glow
hip hooray a street party no, no party, opposite – don’t come – go
no beats no dance just clank crank progress yanks on our doorstep
these seeming nets, those seems not sputter but
                                                                                          no more tears clean
steam in sip of possibility salvage after sleep’s wreck
      seep of heat       creeping cracks       in skins
our papering over       temporal arteries, window sills       careful
chocolate hot and cold, ticks on charts, questions fast, listen slow
steel your axons       manufacture primary colours       girdle in
until you enjoy your own show
lean in see       eyes are still in motion
      luminous as planets       cores warm and dark within
one task, one footstep more towards where words nest
the way bars of a song hunt       in one at a time persistence
as this fixed eye shutters in reflex, so shifts a horizon line.

The Art of Substitution

Lee Jane Taylor

Published on
page 54 of Tarot #6
(June 2023)

Pain is inspiration but never spell hurt, don’t
words are clumsy damp won’t hold the slip if
sensation spikes in what to say when fray of
days hunch minutes linger exquisite porcupine
hours display rows of quills in perfect poise
if you must, tie it down in microfiche decree
bind it up in ribbons shelved keep pith in sight
don’t fright the people busy working greasing
filling need diversion need anything but pain
it has no substance            only inspiration,
writing in the vacuous calligraphies of skies
lines of moon shapes in looming cloud scapes
don’t dwell on ink blot blind spots savour thrills
complicated angles conspire in idiosyncratic spy
games of life aside via leafy wigs nod mindless in
winds blow puff with luck catch the strange creep
creatures of mindsight their glistening carapaces
in the half-light might be an ambulant jewel or a
blowfly, hasty tastes your arm hairs with hungry
feet drops pebble quick floats away slow takes
corpuscles of you to cavort together on fleshy
petals musk and pepper scented, wrap them tight
those limping weeks close your eyes let it flow
the way of rivers course beneath long dry braids
of shingle, unremarked pin the sting to paper
hidden under wings that lie iridescent in
the wavelength interference
of a well-ridged phrasing,
bathe in a preservation
of succinctly tinctured terms.

Something More

Lee Jane Taylor

Published on
page 40 of Tarot #5
(Dec 2022)

Poetry is words and something more
recurring couplets, rhythm and rhyme
poetry is free
verse meaning shaping form
leaves                   space
for the exquisite jarring of this jar stuffed
with thought it empties softly
as it rushes full
the music of speech beautiful
or unkind artistry of the literate lobes
of minds my cat stalks the line
of bannisters ten feet high tail
kissing sky poetry in motion
emotion and notion combine
images dull or brilliant of love
shame, glee, disassociation
a curling leaf, brown devours green
the surgeons blade and eye gleam
in synchronicity death sex
feeding meaning identity breathing
poetry is your heart beat steady
under my right ear, sureness
of a warm chest beneath my nebulous
stare – clouds wandering
wonder where does weather begin
where do hills end, do they look back
poetry is the maths of cats
lap plus blanket equals nap
bowl plus cupboard-squeak equals snack
the profane, the profound
play together games absurd
poetry it is words, imagining, form
          and something more.