When you read this poem,
don't forget, I didn't write it.
I have to think my poems,
working them line by line
whenever there is free time.
Mostly, I start with one line
and the poem takes on a different shape
over a succession of days.
Sometimes, I am so desperate
to edit, that I change a word
in a conversational lull
or between mouthfuls of soup.
But it can happen,
that the poem itself takes control,
putting up roadworks, diversions
to prevent me reaching my goal.
Its like being in Wellington
expecting to set out for
Invercargill, only to find oneself
snowed in on the Desert Road.
And even when finished
it still has to be transferred
from one medium to another:
a thought poem is not the same
as a written poem.
It's as if I've had to
introduce a translator and you know
how difficult that is.
If for you, hills are green
and rolling, you are not
going to anticipate that, for me,
they are tawny, volcanic outcrops
otherwise known as Banks Peninsular.
I'm not even sure whether
I can claim the poem as my own,
but who else does it belong to?