This New Place


For Rose’s baby

Body as Road Map

Body sees the ‘you are here’ sign,
then finds alleyways
and highways, which connect 
the limbs and torso.

An inner guide helps body
explore, create meaning,
detour round slips.

Along these routes,
body seeks a dwelling
and to be nourished.

Body as Telephone

Body answers 
a ringing from the pelvis.
It wants to spend all day,
wires connected
with other phones.

Often body sits by itself
an unanswered siren,
or it pushes buttons
for operator instructions. 

Soon body learns
which numbers to dial
and which to leave on hold.

Body as a Somebody

Body is very pleased
with itself. This body
knows exactly where it’s headed.
Legs stride
over the open ground,
arms reach far.

But some days,
eyes gaze out the window.
Fingers stretch,
tap the windowpane,
how they long to explore
the contours
of the fantail in the plum tree.

Body as Racetrack

Adrenalin circuits
the body in anger,
to sweat out
knots in the system.

Later, as it cools
a stillness ensues.
This is the end of the contest.
A time for bodies
in flow with each other
to rub two sticks together.

Body as Electronics

A wise touch on the crown:
this is the edge
between form
and the void.

Body knows how
thought-forms jolt
and tingle. As it
unplugs from these
the spine above the head
distils a higher voltage.

Body as Walking Stick

Body looks down the goat track
towards the next domain,
lit up by silver hair.

Before it goes
it reveals the meaning of

chiselled-out etches
on the skin.

These will support
other bodies who walk here. 


Robert McGonigal lives in Napier where he is training as a Massage Therapist. He has previously had poetry published in Jaam and Takahe.