From Storyteller: Poems 1988-1999 by Simon Williamson

Before The World Rushed In

Before the world rushed in
I was a child playing in a garden of brilliant green.

Before the world rushed in
I was a dreamer inventing ways of controlling dreams.

Before the world rushed in
I was innocent of the blood and body of Christ
(No one asked him to die for me.)

Before the world rushed in
I was planning the revolution of love.

Before the world rushed in
I was marching on the fathers of the bomb.

I was freeing slaves and paving the city streets with sun flowers.
I had power over the dead and held long conversations about reincarnation.

Before the world rushed in
I was singing 'This Train is Bound for Glory'

to my father in the car. I wondered why he was crying.
I had already explained to him that we were entering the Golden Age.

I had pages and pages of revelations better than the Bible.
Beforebeforebefore the world rushed in

and they stuck me with a pin of haloperadol
I was spinning out with God.

I slept for three days and awoke in a strange place
pristine but septic, no trace of freedom or redemption.

Didn't you promise that? Before the world rushed in
I stumbled to the television, saw a cartoon

a boy was escaping death, the many-headed Hydra
by climbing a rope suspended in space, the rope was cut, he fell

but he could fly and I was that boy.
Lord of Cartoons come to me now, hold me, whisper it's all right.

Love me like when I was a boy
playing in a garden of green.

Life was a wondrous thing
before the world rushed in.

Falling Towards the Sky

Into the hills we headed
the survivors
the few
we were not able to light fires
to keep the kehua at bay
and we could hear their dogs below howling like mad things
our hunters had blood on their minds
with no food only fern roots we travelled
leaving behind those who fell with fatigue
and those who ran porangi into the night
such vengeance from the north
our Tupuna will die with us
I have discarded my child in the undergrowth
disguising her sweet smell
and can only hope she will go swiftly
for mine is the way of the Moa
to be chased to the cliff top
and to tumble
over and over
it is the fall I fear more than death.

'It's all right boy if you fall towards the sun.'

I knew I had to make that leap
gathered two rangatahi
and waited in the undergrowth
while the others travelled ahead.

'Boys do not fear for you will die as Men.'

We waited
they came
we slew four
they slew us all -

that is our story.

© Simon Williamson