Before the snows

Colin Basterfield 2014

For Tom Brandt

I walk to quiet them—the voices
But with every pause for breath
they catch up

to needle, disrupt, confuse, to amuse themselves
they’ve even convinced my bones
to adopt a different point of view

Hide they say, you’re known, to those that hunt
prey, like elk, because you’re weak
the straggler fallen away from the herd

I pray for them to stop, preying on me
Cross the river, lose the scent
and hurry, before the snows

Shut up,
I know what I need to do
Toss the phone and stay on the right

Look, who’s in charge here?

That’s you. We’re only here to provide choice
Unless you mean Him, of course
He always listens
Always forgives

Pray more, pray harder
Pray you’re not prey
Keep walking

Cold now,

and dark
Yet still the chatter
Still the thought
Distill the thought
Die, still the thought

Quieter now, down at the river
Even flow, ripple over rock
leaves moss damp
Smell the air,
winter’s foreshadow
Snow’s cloak,
deadens sound,
absorbs voice

Silent now, they seem distracted perhaps
With elk that walk beside me seeking water
Trees that tower, seeking light
Blackberries yield under snow’s weight
Perhaps they’ll let me rest up a while

Warmer now, close my eyes
Hunker down between leaf and stream
Wait for the snows.

Colin Basterfield

Colin Basterfield graduated from The Hagley Writer’s Institute in 2011 with a stage play, poetry and short stories.  He moved to Wellington in 2012, to continue his education in creative writing at Victoria University and Wellington High School, as well as improvisation with the Wellington Improvisation Troupe, and Open Mic poetry around town. He also has co-writing credits with the 48 Hour filmmaking team, Christchurch On Air.  He’s since moved to Auckland, has recently completed a fresh poetry course, performed and currently waiting for a place on the Masters of Creative Writing 2015 at Auckland University.

A Comet’s Tale

Colin Basterfield 2013

In between the stars there be comets
They slide across the sky like silk over linoleum
Chalk the void where only dark matter tends to matter
A lifetime might not be enough to see their kind again
So we remember the day
Hale-Bopp brush-stroked our night
Kennedy took a bullet
Jeff Buckley’s boots filled with mud

But what of the comet’s tale?
Constituent parts of us
Composites beyond atoms, like Lego?
Where only imagination limits
Thought, love, compassion, creativity, beauty, morals, art, ethics
Does imagination limit dark matter?
And as a point of order
Without light, does dark matter really matter?
Among orders of matter
Is it a matter of order
Between light and dark matters?
Or is the order of what matters
Simply a matter of choice

When out there the universe is expanding in all directions
Everything is accelerating away from everything else
But how can that be when you’re standing right there
You’re so close your light arrives without delay
Yet when we turn away,
You too will recede,
Dressed in red shift
Perhaps to play another game
Of statues, on pedestals
As we shift to blue

For Steph Jones