Alastair Clarke – Elsewhere

Clarke LE P&W 5 Nov-Dec 2023

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

Elsewhere, poems by Alastair Clarke.


You might think of elsewhere
of Elsewheres

in a kind of rhapsody
of worlds “out there”

floating in blue
while world warms

sweating upon warm
upon the stink of fire

upon smoke’s blackening pyre
(you might question this line)

You might dream of elsewhere
of otherness

that it’s easy to escape
Yet Elon’s other-world

remains illusion
It’s this that remains

All that is
Love it or leave it?

It’s love that remains

So long…

So long, this estuary, the fishing
boats moored close, lobster pots, nets strewn
over the small jetty; worn ropes from

rigging and fishing, smelling of
fishing. The calm of the inlet,
the calm inland from sea.

Trawlers, worn working boats, honest
sloops, tender dinghies on racks on
shore, scattered trolleys. Seabirds

foraging, plunging the incoming
tide. A quiet, advancing, closing
the day. This we saw, somehow in

celebration – our brief vision –
the bay, sheltered beneath low hills;
the steady rippling of small wave

following wave; of lives lived across
tides. I’ll finish. We’re leaving soon.

The Birds

The light to-day in this other season.
How the little lake glistens
like glass (yes, this cliched, yet true)
while the ducks, the Canada geese

fling ripples rippling across
the glass. Here houses house the lake
while the dogs and their walkers
together make humanness.

The trees – maples mainly –are now
empty of leaves, yet the kingfishers
still swiftly pass in brief flashes
of bright green and blue.

I believe in the birds – all of them:
they are alive, are presentness.
They defy the stillness – the suburban
stillness here in all seasons.

© Alastair Clarke

Alastair Clarke is a New Zealand writer. He has recently returned to the country after years living abroad, in the U.K. and Australia. He is re-seeing his country. Poems most recently have appeared in Antipodes (U.S), Orbis (U.K.), Poetry New Zealand (2018, 2022), Landfall, Fresh Ink,  A Fine Line and Ezine. His work has been published in the collections, SEEING (2022) and GREEN RAIN (2023).

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