Chris Parsons


Contra Mundum

Fighting his way upstream, every
bend a question mark, empty
hooks pulling him through curling
pounamu. Baited willow shivering slender
in dark pools. His wars with

floods of memories, wading
through until dawn. Trying to
surface from the shadows, looking
at his distant feet walking
in other sepia atmospheres. Comes

the tide again, a wash
of sunlight covering the debris
of exposed night. Long
shadows bar-coding the road back
with hazy meanings, just remembered.



Note: Pounamu is the Te Reo Māori name for Jade / Greenstone that can contain striking swirls of colour.

Chris Parsons taught English in Japanese colleges and universities for six years. He now works as a Child Psychologist and lives in Christchurch. His poems appear in Auckland Poetry, Blackmail Press, JAAM, the Otago Daily Times, Snorkel, Takahe, Southern Ocean Review and The Typewriter.

Parsons writes: “This is a poem about the unconscious — that murky ocean that we explore at night. The idea that we are influenced by things in our mind that we are not aware of is one of the great contributions made by people like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.”