Flushed From A Tidal Retreat

                in the deep-freeze we 
        will feel no pain 
                just go to sleep (as if winter was coming) 
                                it is ‘asleep’ 
                        as in Rosei’s dream 
        watermarked origami 
from the fold                 butter- 
        fly logic 
                        to be : becalmed 
afloat with the telling 
        sail said the lullaby 
                scissoring         and… captioned 
        elevation        commotion and roseate histrionics 
to see hills I didn’t even know existed | rain transforming this patch | spring eagles 
returning to the same nest | bodies — each in foetal position | suicidal Inuit youth 
shackled hand-to-heart… 
            quieter moments when fights for food abate 
… fog shrouds Snyder lake | a deer fords the main branch | riparian light blinking on a 
dark field | the grotto where tradition states Jesus was born, 
            after descendants, not everyone believes : believes, fragrant pastures 
celebrate love | jaguar dancers torment the mineral kingdom, and the whorls (many 
coated) turn … El Niño churns in, disarming | the last war is not over 
                under the masked avatar 
the body wills its incarnation 
        … electrical improvisations 
                        the young born miniature adjuncts 
                (((collisions beneath the moon))) 
        ghost moths generate night skirmishes 
shadowing the wall 
                they balance at mechanical rest 
        a fold: one ghost upon 
leverage in memory 
                    a rift between 
        for instance     try 
                to replace 
                no need for excavations 
        the process gifted 
                grown in wild streams 

She is Sparrow-like and Fierce

 I’ll tie myself to her voice 
scene pulled from frame to frayed edge 
                knot-to-knot…to pull backwards that tapestry of dress 
                                (yes, the pattern returns triumphant) 
                                        crux of the matter, to go on…wistfully 
                                                        could not she? 
                                        of course life-lines feeding the concrete 
                                clear-cut she is sparrow-like and fierce, 
                        thin…angular, with the hollow-eyed look 
        she could reach people with her mimicry 
                a little melancholic roust 
an elegiac circus        and under this whirling 
        her manic joy…streaming in and out-of-breath. 


Sam Sampson was born in Auckland, and grew up in South Titirangi, next to Little Muddy CreekEverything Talks, his first collection of poems, was published by Auckland University Press (NZ), and Shearsman Books (UK) in June 2008. It won the Jessie McKay NZSA Best First Book of Poetry at the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. For more information visit his website.

Flushed From A Tidal Retreat: The oldest unequivocal document of origami is a short comic poem composed by Ihara Saikaku in 1680. It reads: Rosei-ga yume-no cho-wa orisue (The butterflies in Rosei’s dream would be origami). The Rosei in my poem is lifted from this source. In the second and third stanzas, there is a blended, embedded, and overlapped assortment of found fragments cut from National Geographicmagazines by artist Peter Madden. The title is one of these fragments.