Tuesday Poem – A Pair of Sandals, James K Baxter

A pair of sandals, old black pants
And leather coat — I must go, my friends,
Into the dark, the cold, the first beginning
Where the ribs of the ancestor are the rafters
Of a meeting house — windows broken
And the floor white with bird dung — in there
The ghosts gather who will instruct me
And when the river fog rises
Te ra rite tonu te Atua —
The sun who is like the Lord
Will warm my bones, and his arrows
Will pierce to the centre of the shapeless clay of the mind.

Thinking of Jo, 1976 – July 2010

Tuesday Poem

11 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – A Pair of Sandals, James K Baxter

  1. The image of the meeting house, its floor white with bird dung and its ghosts gathering to instruct… is moving and powerful.
    Thank you. I’ve not read this Baxter piece for a very long time.

  2. Thank you all – I’m glad you enjoyed this poem. I also find it quite haunting and beautiful. I hadn’t seen Jo in a few years. We went to teacher’s college together – a fellow English teacher and incredibly brave woman.

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