Anna Rugis



you enter the ravine like Che in Bolivia

each foot reaches for firmness
                       holds like
metal to magnet
           you move carefully on down
you smell the approach of cool shadow
as it crawls toward the rim

you’ve forgotten what you
used to believe in

as you go deeper
your sightlines close in

you find a niche between and rock and a tree trunk
and wedge yourself into it

in countless houses
on every continent and island
babies cry        for more of  less
you cry silently for the loss of it

tomorrow when the sun lifts the lid
on this box canyon
when the army arrives to celebrate their victory
you’ll watch them strap your straightened legs
to a makeshift gurney and carry you up
onto the plateau
where you’ll be watched
for signs of complicity

but you won’t stir
you’ll play possum
with the imprint of bark on your thigh
and granite on your shoulders



Anna Rugis’ poems have been included in Poetry Aotearoa, JAAM, brief, Broadsheet, Spin, Takahe, Poetry NZ, Catalyst, Manukau in Poetry, LYNX magazine (USA), and International Literary Quarterly (UK). She also writes songs and musicals with environmental themes for children and is a former backup singer for Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, The Kinks, and Cliff Richard. She has recorded nine CDs of original music including ‘Reconciliation’, ‘Cave Songs’, and ‘Traffic in Gold’. She lives in Maraetai, New Zealand.