Richard von Sturmer – Mayu

Sturmer LE P&W 3 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three Nov-Dec 2023.

Mayu, poem by Richard von Sturmer.


Mayu imagined us
seated around a table.
The table was fragile
and we were fragile as well.
It was evening
and someone lit a candle.
‘Just around the corner,’
said Mayu,
‘there’s a hundred years of wind.
We may all turn into
horseshoe crabs.’
No one disagreed
with Mayu.
It was a distinct
Outside the cabin
an unmoored dinghy
rose and fell with the waves.

The Etruscans

On the fifth day
they appeared before us
slender as cypresses
each holding a stone.
We would have liked
to study their features
but sleep overcame us.
Our eyelashes were heavy
with olives.
A line of ants
crossed the courtyard.
Someone had just baked
a loaf of bread . . .
And when we looked up
the Etruscans were gone.

© Richard von Sturmer

Richard von Sturmer is a New Zealand writer. He was born on Auckland’s North Shore in 1957. His recent books are the acclaimed memoir, This Explains Everything (Atuanui Press, 2016), Postcard Stories (Titus Books, 2019), Resonating Distances (Titus Books, 2022) and the recently published Walking with Rocks, Dreaming with Rivers: My Year in the Waikato (Titus Books, 2023). He is well-known for writing the lyrics of ‘There is No Depression in New Zealand,’ which has become the country’s alternate national anthem.

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