(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

BooksMay 15, 2020

The Friday Poem: A poem from ‘Reproaches’ by Steven Toussaint

 (Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

A new poem by Ockham finalist Steven Toussaint.

from The Reproaches


Confusion isn’t mystery.

Oblivion and mastery, but never

At the same time.  Abide in me.

Fustian bargain to render silence clever.


Ignatian composition

Spoiled by an app’s trill, my fontanelle

Closed and with it one grace-receptive station.

So I rode my bike to Gog Magog Hill


Where I could better imagine

Three standards at war inside myself

Incarnadine the chalk desolation:

The Ghibelline, two kinds of Guelf,


Evidence upon evidence

The spiritual direction industrial complex

Had auctioned my data for pocket pence.

First edition Eeldrop and Appleplex


And selected Roman broadcasts for a song

On Amazon Prime, whose algorithm proves

That Augustine was wrong

To blame libido for his mental mess.  Desire behoves


Meticulous code on a Palo Alto laptop.

The engineer, adept in Ent-bildung,

Empties his drives of anything de trop

Like an outbreak would the Addenbrooke’s building.


Steven Toussaint’s collection Lay Studies was shortlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry at the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Winners were announced on Tuesday May 12. A full list of the winners is here.

The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions for The Friday Poem are welcome at

Keep going!