From Over the Waters by Moshé Liba

Over the Waters

to Riemke Ensing

From the "Lage Landen"
six meters
down under
the sea level
Old Zealand

Hundreds of years
after Abel Tasman
thousands of miles
over the waters
around the globe

Far over the seas
to the shores
of the volcanic mountains
arising islands
from down under
New Zealand

their new
mother tongue
to the Maori
teaching the old
fatherland literature
to the Pakeha
the writings to the Kiwis

over the waters
the spirit
of words
over the seas
the meaning
of poems
over the mountains

As it
in the
Old Story
as it
is written
in the
New Scripture
"And the Spirit
of the Lord
over the waters."


Midnight in Wellington

to Kerry Prendergast, the Mayor of Wellington

At twelve hours of the night
of the 31st of December of 1999,
exactly at twenty four hours
the clocks showed
0 0 0 0
zero, zero, zero, zero.
Exactly at the zero hour, zero, zero, zero, zero
the lights of the houses went off
the lights of the streets went off
the lights of the harbour went off
the lights of the ships went off
the blue lights of the TV screens went off
the pale blue lights of the computers went off -
everything went off.

In the great silence that followed
you could see, you could sense, you could feel
the anguish, the fright, the fear
rolling from this corner of the world
down under, in the east
up, up all the way, to the west.

And then it was one second after,
the clocks showed
0 0 0 1
zero, zero, zero, one
and the lights went on
and everything went on
and you could see the fireworks in the sky
and you could hear the ships' horns blow
and you could perceive, hear, sense
the cry of deliverance, of joy, of happiness
the crowd shouting: We are still here!
roaring, rolling, from this corner of the earth
down under, in the east
roaming, in every land of this world
up, up, all the way, to the west.

At zero, zero, zero, one
The New Millennium had started
here, in Wellington.

Wellington, midnight, 00:01-1.1.2000

©Moshé Liba