This May be Your Captain Speaking


Moon moon moon moon this
obsession darkness and clear
light over water the beach
Takapuna winds from all quarters

on vacation small waves
lifting with that breath-
catching moon-reflecting
pause its flash or shimmer

running down their raised
foil before falling the whole
Gulf across to Rangitoto
listening and over it a

huge havenless heaven alight
all the way out to the end
of the ever. But it’s the sea’s
particular talk these words

spaced out between wave-
break in every of its modes one
beach having one voice settlers
heard ancient Maoris came

upon a characterizing
untranslatable statement under
pohutukawas endlessly
varied endlessly the same.

from Straw Into Gold, Poems New & Selected (Auckland University Press, 1997), © C K Stead 1997, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.