Green Hills Literary Lantern



There are times I feel like the egg




These are the times I feel like the egg

you can’t make an omelet without breaking.

These are soggy paper-handkerchief days

and forced to walk the arthritic dog

I discover there are no shortcuts

through the suburbs of my malaise.


There are the times I feel like the lamp-post

the animal strains towards so keenly.

The rain though little more than a mist seeps

through me like ink, the ink that flows

thicker than blood, than water, writing

that what you sow is what you’ll reap


and other cheap lessons from the people

who pass them down from pillar to post

and who pass me by with scurrying legs

hurrying their own bedraggled beagles

hurrying homewards eyes averted 

for their bitter tea and scrambled eggs.



New Zealand poet James Norcliffe has published eight collections of most recently Villon in Millerton, Auckland University Press, 2007 Packing a Bag for Mars, Clerestory Press, 2012, and Shadow Play Proverse, 2012. This last was a finalist in the Proverse International Writing Prize. With Siobhan Harvey and Harry Rickets he has edited Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Random House, 2014). In 2010 he took part in the XX International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Colombia and in 2011 the International Festival of Poetry in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.

He also writes novels for young people, mainly fantasy.

Recent work has appeared in Gargoyle, The Cincinnati Review and Fourteen Hills and is forthcoming in the Hawaii Review and the Norton anthology Flash Fiction International.