Always-shifting ground


There’s a place for us on a broken plateau
and there’ll be no movement ’til we’re told 
…yeah, right, the Hooker Valley’ll not blow…. 
The tussock’s a disturbance of gold.
There’s a place for us in a recently booked hotel. 
The turn-offs are clearly marked with an 
…under them mountains there,   hell… 
and the sight of a flaccid thumb’s tradition. 
There’s a place for us with a seismic kind of view. 
…the sheets’ll be creased… winks the manager’s missus 
actually saying, …staking your claim?   too
though we’re slate-panelled walls of heavy promises.
We lay – or we will lie – in a hotel looked back on – 
or forward to – on always-shifting ground.



Brent Cantwell is a writer and teacher of literature from Timaru, New Zealand. He currently lives on Mount Tamborine with his family and partner.