You sometimes sit here at my table
And we share some wine and whimsy
But in the time honoured phrase:
“But not very often”.
I feel from your recent letter
A withdrawal from life
To some private place of pain.
There is some mystery about you
It is not just the moans and groans
Of mood and moment
Of the female psyche
But some piece that is missing
And remains hidden from me.
I continue to run, defiantly
To meet life.
Dunedin, NZ — November, 1990
Is there a Taoist Woman out there?
One who has been to the dark side
Of the Moon.
One who has returned to live
In the World?
I would like to meet her.
Dunedin, NZ — August, 1990
Today as I walked through town
I was aware of seeing
With only two eyes
There wasn’t that internal dialogue
With you anymore.
I felt diminished by half.
As I entered the house that had S-S
There was now a feeling of profound emptiness
That kind of calmness and stillness
From knowing that once again
You are alone in the Universe.
Dunedin, NZ — June, 1990
The images come tumbling out
The feminine beauty of the Taj Mahal
The masculine grandeur of the Red Fort
The boy with the smiling eyes
Posing with his pet python
For your camera — 20 rupees
And you bargain for 10 rupees
He has a laugh and you the picture
There is a life in the street hawkers
In the people taking the night air
Enjoying themselves without pretensions.
Everything is in a mild confusion
Boarding on chaos, like the traffic
Yet it moves with a flow.
There are spices for the tongue
Incense for the nose
Colours for the eye, music for the ear
Images for the mind, gods for the spirit
A touching and a caring for all.
Somehow in our cleverness
We have forgotten how to live.
New Delhi, India — November, 1989
You are not a scientist
Biology is not a science
What a relief!
As a story-teller
I can now tell stories about biological things
It clears the dilemma
Of trying to be a scientist and a writer/poet.
So we are left with ‘scientific’ toys
To play with
And stories to tell.
Purakanui — January, 1988
All I really wanted to do was leave behind
A small book of poems.
Then Science came along and I had to know
‘What did it have to say about
The meaning of Life?’
It took me 25 years to resolve that question.
I am now a different person
But with that same wish.
In the meantime I’ve accumulated
The flotsam and jettison of a family,
An academic career
As well as the scars of the slings and arrows
Of passing time.
The cup of my ‘Drink’ poem
Now doth runneth over.
Dunedin, NZ — August, 1987
Above the sound of the neighbour’s chainsaw
Thoughts return to earlier days
Back to the poems with which I started life.
What was it I wanted to do?
I wanted to experience life
Its joys and its sorrows
Without being shielded from its extremes
And so it was.
I’ve had a rich and varied life
Especially in regard to female companions.
I have not sought to escape life
But have lived it
And pondered on its different philosophies
But to what purpose?
So that I could one day
In a quiet place
Write some poems about life
And draw together the threads of my experience.
Purakanui — April, 1987