Brother body (7.8) – for David Howard


‘Brother body is my cell, my soul the hermit
crab within’ (said St Francis, he should know).
But look: these earthquakes shake my cage,
they rattle me right to the core. There’s no
fucking visible door. There’s no way out.
Today’s like yesterday on stilts, I shake in
my sleep, a headless chook I run from
one room to the other on stupid missions.
Does my soul get a day off now for PTS, or
is it down to be like this, day in, day
out: shake up, fall down, road kill?
Not complaining, you understand, just cold in
here. We’re not the way we were before the 7.1
and the 6.3, the 7.8 and the swarm of others.



Jeffrey Paparoa Holman  writes poetry, history and memoir. He blogs now and then at,  His most recent works are Blood Ties: New and Selected Poems, 1963-2016 (Canterbury University Press, 2017) and Dylan Junkie (Mākaro Press, 2017).