Bewilderment is there in a small child blowing up a balloon, who seems simultaneously to be bringing time and the universe into being; or in a poem like Bus Journey South (“Where have all the/Maori gone, for chrissake?”); or in the sharp synthesis of mischief and anger in his Maori figure cast in bronze:
I mean, how the hell can you welcome
the Overseas Dollar if you can’t open your
to poke your tongue out, eh?
If the poet remembers hard and troubling times when he was young (in a poem addressed to a girl on her 13th birthday), he quickly finds his way to the life-force that nevertheless sustained him:
But what a good hell it was
to be vulnerable: cry joy alive
to the whip and zip of blood leaping
in the veins.
Read the full review at The Listener.