an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

All Editions

Tarot #07
Tarot #06
Tarot #05
Tarot #04
Tarot #03
Tarot #02
Tarot #01

Fine man

my neighbour Jim who played
halfback for Taranaki in the 1960s
and had two All Black trials
would drop one of the wings
from the current test squad
because he has female hands
incapable of reliably
scragging a bloke
from the other side and thus
a weak spot in our defence

not all his opinions are by
any means so stern but having
lived and breathed the game
for over eighty years he knows
what he’s talking about
praising in detail
in their suitable positions
active players he admires
or summarising the careers
of past team mates and opponents

a short and solid figure
well into his ninth decade
he’s out there on a weekday
pushing the white paint spray-
machine around the local park
to freshen the touchlines
goal-lines and halfway
and the twenty-twos
in preparation for Saturday’s
grades and their supporters

there’s something generous too
about his habits of thought
characteristic of a time
when sport wasn’t work
but recreation after
or between spells of work
derived from the community
and embedded in it
while there were still communities
worth being proud about