Sam Sampson lives in Auckland, New Zealand. His poems and reviews have appeared in Stand, Ariel, The Listener and other journals. The author of Gauguin's Poiesis (1999), he has taught ethnomusicology at the University of Auckland and worked as a freelance musician and writer.

Nave Nave Fenua

Delightful land

as a confusion of flesh / leaf / flower -

while a brook called absolute silence
intones a plaintive wailing:

so low
so soft

as not to awaken desire.

Somewhere Mr. Bernstein?

Somewhere (half-decent) there is a place for us
an open plan, of peace and quiet, and space

for us; an anchorage of blue plague
          realism: to spare, to learn, to care

for us; but what of time
          to spare, time to learn, time to care

a new way of living?
                              Oh, cut to the chorus:
somehow, someday, somewhere, somewhere....

A Blue Lighter with Chinese Characters

Your body tossed as flotsam is empty
but for characters:                    lucky - star - high - shine

each a celestial halfwit wrestled
between good fortune and a tidal bulge.

where the green.          green seaweed spools tangle;
          where I found you. blue. discarded.

Gentian Violet

A fleshy soul
gingerly, in step - tiptoe

through a field
where peacock blue

- on top of the hard sand

is deposited everywhere.

Ocean polyps
strung-out. Keep the

head down
- grid-locked cells

underfoot, bare-reflex -
flash! a sudden touch

of gentian violet
administered liberally

to the sting of salt, of tears
flinch at the words:

'it's for the best'
then the heave of sob

distanced, up-running
- mouthing, that graze of flesh,

the first encounter:
mountainous blue / blue mountainous.

The Dirty Monk

After the pixels were fixed
we all shouted Seurat!

To be reading Stein
Isaiah / Jeremiah / Isaiah / Jeremiah

with the blue guitar. I had in mind to pose in profile.
Ascetic an(d)          irty and angular.                    inverted

in the old sound-hole of a singing star.