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Rata Gordon

I Find Slaters


If I write about trees

I have to write about everything –
Blue cheese and pink grapefruits.

A small gold bell ringing over moss.

Politicians’ billboards dumped on the side of the road.
I like hating people.

It is fun.

Dolphin killers and men in tall buildings with snuffly noses.

Men who are ruffling through my emails.
I am ruffling through this poem

trying to find

its hidden meaning.

If I ruffle through fallen leaves

I find slaters.
The leaves are being digested.
How much twiddling do trees do?

Do they doodle on the sky?

Do they do a little spiral?
I didn’t mean what I said

about hating people.
That tree is a taraire.

If it could

it would hold a sign saying

I’m an individual.
It is breathing in the air

my hot water bottle breathed out.
A small gold bell is ringing over moss.

The leaves are being digested.

The poem is eating itself.


Rata Gordon lives on Waiheke Island and coordinates a youth arts and well-being programme. Her poems have found homes in Landfall, Sport, JAAM and elsewhere. Rata’s favourite food is feijoas and she has been making taraire and feijoa cider. The recipe still needs work.


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