Phar Lap do you ever get restless?
do your impressive legs still long
O noble steed here in the strange space by the elevators
partially obscured by a pillar bones so creamy
mythically incomplete body suspended
in the half-light
Your legacy the required knowledge
of primary-school aged children— a forward momentum
unmatched against global records we were so proud
of your most untimely demise enough poison to kill a horse
followed by the ceremonial division of parts—
segmented into equal equine particles
shared across seas
trans-Tasman bonds never stronger
We got your bones the best bit my teacher reckoned
your hide went to Melbourne / your improbably enormous heart, to Canberra
and in Timaru birthplace to you and of my father also
a bronze monument erected—
the highest honour we know how to give
We mourned and mourned
the flag at half-mast for
our fastest, brightest horse of all
JINGLE JANGLE MORNING
(after Bill Hammond)
your birds have gone south.
They pulled up the mountains
with their formidable forearms,
picked up the smaller volcanic cones,
bushels of rātā and mānuka
and took off. Just like that, our painted
landscape is again laid bare, no more
muscular lunging across gulleys
or the arc of a biblical wing
to scoop us up and point us
They left behind only the dark spaces
overhung with lichen
and small deposits of bones,
shells cleaned of any meat,
lakes frozen over
with clasps of eels still inside them.
No signal heralded their departure—
no note was left.
Not a song could be heard for miles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Loretta is an artist and writer, based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington. You can read their poems in issues of takahē, Sweet Mammalian, Starling, Minarets, Overcom, and Mayhem Journal. They are a facilitator at play_station artist-run space.