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A N A T O K I   S P E L L


He shovelled paddock shit for his keep

which she spread on lofted soil for her keep

and their keep was mattresses floor lain

above a woodwork workshop sawdust lain.

The rain sounded like it knew the place,

brittle cotton on the sanded sills,

the rain truly did know this place

hidden in the hills.


They read aloud chapters, chapter about,

deep into the night, a book about

she-lovers, something or other. Lay still

for each other’s voice, at ease, and still.

It meant a hell-load to them both.

How would you say? Not love. Friendhood.

Solid. Night narrative – them both

annealed for good.


Halfway through they made a pact

to finish later. Next day up and packed.

There wasn’t a lot more work,

and they were never going ‘to work’

which would work out okay. They caught

a lift out of the valley, then on.

Went their ways. An end that caught

in the throat. Felt wrong.


Good to their word, she lit the fire

he came around, sat by the fire

they finished off Haruki’s tale.

This friendship has no category.




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