Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Empiricism, by Roger Hickin

Empiricism

a wayfaring stranger who climbs
a steep village street
an old embroidress who’s lost her needle––
stranger stoops to help her look
but soon gives up–– lo siento
needle nowhere to be seen

wizened stub of a woman opposite
watches squatting on her doorstep––
está loca she informs the stranger––
the embroidress is nuts
she’s got no needle

a few doors up a younger woman points
at woman two–– take no notice of her
she advises–– está sorda
she’s stone deaf doesn’t hear
a word you say

all this–– perhaps a comedy routinely played
to confuse the wayfaring stranger
who threads his way
up the narrow street
inclined to doubt
wanting to believe

in the existence of the needle

********************

Roger Hickin has worked as a visual artist and exhibited regularly throughout
New Zealand since 1985. Although he has written poetry since the 1960s, his main preoccupation was with sculpture & painting until the early 2000s when poetry began to demand more serious attention. A poem about a moribund rooster is still recalled by some who heard it at a reading in the public bar of the City Hotel, Dunedin, in 1983.
Two collections of Hickin’s poetry, Waiting for the Transport and The Situation & other poems, appeared in 2009. His Cold Hub Press publishes poetry by New Zealand & international writers. He lives in Governors Bay on Lyttelton Harbour.

Thanks to Roger for permission to use this poem which appears on the Phantom Billstickers' poetry posters. I took a stroll up to a nearby main road on National Poetry Day to have a look at the posters there and spotted this one. It's a strange place to post them as there is not much foot traffic, mainly cars and heavy trucks thundering by on their way through to the port at Lyttelton. I thought it was an appropriate day to give the posters a bit of attention.

For more Tuesday Poems visit the main hub site - check out this week's post, and the poets in the sidebar.




2 comments:

Jennifer Compton said...

very droll - thanks

Helen Lowe said...

Great poem! I enjoyed it on the "Billstickers" also. :)