LYNN JENNER

 

Mysterium 

 

Gum trees as tall as a six-story building
are a feature of the landscape here

Much more than I am
in fact

Planted in the 1920’s
as shelter for newly subdivided
twenty-acre plots
their trunks are straight and silver

or they curve like a motorway bend

Leaves grow from thin branches
in feathery bunches

I watch the high branches move

*

I do not know
where the wind comes from
and where it goes

but it’s pleasurable to cast a line
into the sky

*

Scientism falls off me
like a dead skin
and I float with the wind

which I decide to call
God of the Eucalypts

Mysterium
of the lifestyle block

*

These grandiose notions
seem to be a structural element
of the situation

Me, sitting at a desk

beside a picture window in Kerikeri

in a tiny house
on a block of land
that was once a tamarillo orchard
sprayed for decades with lime sulphur

before that a dairy farm
and before that
a kauri forest

and there were
people

That is the situation

A couple of real estate agents face the uncertain future

 

These two share a house with five bedrooms, five bathrooms,
vaulted wooden ceilings and Italian marble benches. Even they
are a bit surprised at how much money they have made. They
say they are vegans but sometimes, if the little one is in the
mood, they throw a worm into the salad because there’s nothing
quite as arousing as the wiggle of a live worm on the radula.
Over dinner, outside on the deck, the big one says the good
times are over; that prices have fallen in the inner city. They
want to cash in their shares before it is too late. The little one
has a stouter heart. They are sure it will not come to a full-scale
recession. As the sun goes down, they pull their long bodies into
the house, and the big one locks the door. In the master suite,
they wind themselves around each other and a silvery blue
penis everts from each head. After a bit more snuggling and
sliding, each deposits sperm into the other’s storage organ.
Never one to trust in luck, the little one goes to the bathroom
and closes the door. Once inside, they secrete poisonous
mucous and smear it over themselves in case the big one thinks
of eating them. Inside their big house they both shut their eyes,
but they do not really sleep. Outside, in the dark, giants are
abroad; their feet leave deep footprints in the lawn. Magpies
peck at the windows.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynn Jenner lives in Te Tai Tokerau. Her latest book is Peat (OUP 2019), a collection of essays about Charles Brasch and the Makays to Peka Peka Expressway. Her author website is Pinklight.