Unattended Crossing Ahead

Some poems have no plan
you just have to be there to catch
the express when it whooshes through
and there's no timetable.

Oh they're not at all
like embroidery laid aside
taut in its drumlike frame
and awaiting a meditative hour

Chance is all against them
they are as unlikely as this love---
who knows when we'll meet again?
And it's not that we don't want to---

but then the children, the grave demands
of time and place, our health even---
the years compacting round our roots
perhaps it'll always be like this?

Oh no, we say, we simply can't!
seeing it all so clearly:
and yet we're left breathless
standing here at the dusty crossing

while the red light bobs away
and the bell's clang chokes in a country silence
thinking: I might have been on that train
thinking: it could have killed me.


Iain Lonie
Iain Lonie was once described as ``New Zealand's most troubling absence''---absent from all the anthologies and from New Zealand itself for much of his life. He was actually born in Cambridgeshire (in March of all places). By trade he was a classical scholar, with a particular interest in Greek Medicine, and this took him to Cambridge at various times to study, tho' it was not in Cambridge that i met him.
He died in 1989, and his poetry is not going to be better known until something happens to make the NZ poets of his generation more fashionable. Perhaps that something will turn out to be the recent (May 2015) publication by Otago University Press of the Complete Lonie (with a modest subvention from your humble correspondent). And about time too, one might add. Let's see who reads it....
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