I never eat sensibly when you’re away.

I make do with odd scraps of food

that don’t need heating up,

or nibble on a biscuit or two.

Under the pine trees

the dogs wait through wind and rain

for your return.


I fiddle with a poem,

searching for a true rhyme,

but settle for less.

If it gets any colder I may light a fire,

or I may not.

I take up a book of poems,

but after a few pages I put it down.


Far away the sea climbs the road

that you have taken,

and lazily climbs down,

leaving a white smear.

Under its plume of cloud,

Kapiti drifts towards Australia.

It will be another long day

before you return.


By Alistair Te Ariki Campbell