Helen Heath


ii. Naisho

I did not expect to find
a fence like this here
at all
he’s perfect.

Fences are such dangerous
objects for me
because they’re so
perfect in their geometry.

I would definitely like
to get to know
this fence better, God
you’re so sweet.

People don’t see the soul
of the object.
Where as when you truly,
truly are interested in an object

and you’re willing to bare your soul
then you see theirs.
How long have you waited
to be touched like this?


I am a woman and
this is a bridge,
despite our vast differences
we are very much in love.

One of the most difficult
parts of being in love
with a public object
is that he and I can never

Be truly intimate.
I can’t exactly curl up
with the Eiffel Tower
every night or
the Golden Gate bridge or
the Berlin Wall
so I have to suffice
with handcrafting models.


We’ve had a pretty hot
and heavy relationship
for quite some time but
when we got together,

out there on the archery field
I realised it was more
than just his aesthetic appeal.
I swear blood flowed from my arm

and went right into him
and it felt like the molecules in him
went flowing into my arm.
But things are different now.


The heat of my body
is flowing into her cold steel.
The cold of her steel is
flowing into my body and

we are reaching
equilibrium, I can feel
the exchange of temperature
between us, which is an exchange

of energy and that energy
is very spiritual.
She definitely loves me back
I can feel, I can feel that

I can feel her right
now. What we have
is real and if it’s only real
to me and it’s only real to her
then that’s fine.



Helen Heath’s debut collection of poetry Graft was published in May 2012 by Victoria University Press. Graft has been short-listed for the Royal Society Science Book Prize, selected for the NZ Listener’s top books of 2012, as well as winning a Post Graduate Research Excellence Award from Victoria University, Wellington. Helen’s poetry and essays have also been published in many journals in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the USA. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) in 2009. Helen’s chapbook of poems called ‘Watching for Smoke’ was also published by Seraph Press that year. She is currently working towards her PhD in Creative Writing at the IIML. Her PhD research project explores how science is represented in the work of postwar, contemporary UK poets writing in the 80s and 90s. Her poem sequence ‘Postcards’ has been selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2012. Helen won the inaugural ScienceTeller Poetry Award in 2011 for her poem ‘Making Tea in the Universe’.