an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Robert Rinehart


Robert Rinehart

Published on
page 47 of Tarot #6
(June 2023)

spadefuls, chopped soil,
moist, splitting the fat
worm. halves fallen away,
wriggling, claiming darkness
of earth. as trees
break clay, so machines
scab worms,
microbes sift:
detail workers. having dug
beneath the fence,
we become homeless.

your breath, sweet,
mulchy. sparkly, glissading,
natural, pure white, dextrous
fresh as cocaine. trees as
soldiers, softening
the air. when asleep,
your movements sifted
as salt pours
into a cellar, swift,
precise, no waste.

those three nights, remember?
nights of unrest, sticks for
guns, & holsters, blistery
in the cold. beneath
fallen firs, we bought
sleep for duty, as,
camouflaged white
within the snow, our
instants of safety,
noisily imagining a simple
apple’s crunch, may give
us away.

our fears, racing
hearts, like flushed
pheasants breaking
cover, skating
into woods’ depths,
fleeing across the powder,
escaping capture, grave
faces charmed,
two halves come
together, our parts
forming a whole.

Ngarunui starfish

Robert Rinehart

Published on
page 49 of Tarot #6
(June 2023)

Sand cut shins/abraded & stung/
nettles in a dry field/air thin/cut glass/left
to its devices, a brittle star/clearly trapped/
tidepools still, afraid/pull,/
of the moon, blood pressure/weighted sea/
series of blankets thrown in winter/
embryonic density/five arms, piliated,/
flying seeds/feeding sensing moving/willfully
painting, dancing, polishing the ocean floor.

&/a dog, freed to romp & lick/bounce
in ecstasy/shaking dry/white drool/owner’s
oblivion, tripping out to
beats/Go-Pro™ optics/“sorry,
Bro”/warm tidepool soak/trampling
rocks, coral, shells/gigantic kaiju unleashed
across black sand./Cyclonic,
touching down, damage/
brittle star’s long
arm, severed/hidden beneath sight/
once again:/reborn.