an extract from Maukatere: floating mountain

Bernadette Hall 2013

caged and crafted

like Gregor Samsa

in Kafka’s Metamorphosis


who is there willing to glow

like the wet stones in the wire gabion,

like underwater pulses


the acolyte shows me a leaf

‘we were born on that leaf, on that shoot,

our family’, she says


‘and I am one of the best leapers’

how lovely to walk with my arm around her waist

‘I am my own conman’ she says


and she repeats it

like the blade of light

that repeats itself


as it leaps off coca leaves

into the river

‘so this is it, she says, ‘this is the gold rush’