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BooksDecember 17, 2021

The Friday Poem: To the detractors of light, by John Dennison

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The last Friday Poem for the year is by Wellington poet John Dennison.

To the detractors of light

i

In heavy rain, between two trees
outside our bedroom window, collects
a pool of water, rising up through blades

of grass and the kneel of moss. It reflects
all light: a world pool drawn
from the sky. Whosoever detracts

from this—shield of morning in the rough lawn—
their words must darken to a mute screen
that fingers itself. This puddle wakes the dawn,

shouts in glad shivers of fescue green,
inch render of mile-high glory,
bright wine of understanding rain.

 

ii

Often, in the form of rooms that have
been locked from the inside, the student
not seen all weekend, not active

online; or it gathers before the prudent
at the edge of station platforms, bleeds
into the sleepers; or in eyes vacant

as houses where a shape, slight, pleads
briefly, then is bent by a fall of interior night.
Go polish the darkness, collaborate: it feeds

on whatever it leads; better write insensate
than risk joy, let the poem dilate. But you’ll
excuse me if I go and stand in the light.

 

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until 31 December 2021. Please send up to three poems to chris@christse.co.nz.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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