Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Moment under the Moment

I am travelling toward my hometown
With Ruapehu to my right
looking like it is etched into silver
as the sun catches it at such
an angle that it shines.
Ahead I see Taranaki
through some haze looking
like an ancient picture
painted on rice paper
so that it is translucent
yet its perfect shape
is recognizable even from here.
I have Dylan and The Band playing and
they are asking me how long
can a mountain exist so
that I wonder how these mountains
 looked before there were
people here and do the
sheep in the fields now
realise that those peaks are there.
But by the look of
the lambs in there now
 they do not see much past
the udders of their mothers
right now.
And the realisation comes to me
that this is one of Russell Hoban's
"Moments under the Moment"
and my heart sings.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Death came in today
sat down in the corner chair
 took out his fiddle
made of bones
 and started to play
 the saddest tune.
Which is why
he played it because
you have to know
he is there for him to be there.
He wants you to realize
why he's around
as if the skull
and the eye sockets
did not tell you enough.
As if the keening
wind at his back
did not chill
you to the bone
And who is he here for?
Why it's you,
some day, maybe not
this one but there will
come a time
on a corner taken
too fast or
on a pills and
 alcohol afternoon.
When he'll step
out of the corner
remove his hat
and say "Show's over
 man, time to move on"

© Hamish Mack

Friday, July 18, 2014


My friend writes that
words leech into paintings.
I think he means leach but
I wonder about the other
because maybe the words
 do wait around looking
for pictures to attach
themselves to.  
Growing fatter on the canvas
as they assume more and more meaning.
Combining with
the brushstrokes to make
more than the artist
first thought.
I wonder if back
out on the Serengeti
we walked swish, swoosh
through the long grass and
words attached themselves
straight to our legs
so that we picked up
"bush with nice fruit" and
"place with water" and
"the piece of darkness that kills".
We are too mature
for words to teach us now
and they must wait for
the artist to lift them into art.
And enshrine them
in the frame.

©Hamish Mack

Sunday, June 8, 2014


The one Bob
Dylan, is in my head
telling me that
it's all right.
But something
is wrong and
I don't feel
good enough
any more.
I shouldn't
be breathing this
hard from such
a short walk.
Heart shouldn't
be so raced.
And I have issues
about being
 not achieving
enough or
much at all.
And on those
terms Bob's
not much help.
But I think
I can fake it.
Which is
probably not
healthy but is
the best
I can do.

©Hamish Mack

Sunday, May 4, 2014

John Lennon's Master

It is not supposed to be like this
not out in the open,
 on Bridge Road, Melbourne.
 A metaphor unfolds
on an absolutely normal day.
Yet there it  is, a man on the other side
of Bridge Road, washing a Ferrari.
He is wearing a suit so is
being very careful and restrained
while the car is the very
definition of red, sharklike power.
Over here on my side of the road
A old guy sits in a doorway
he has a grimy face except around
his eyes, so he looks
surprised all of the time.
He has a once white little dog with him
and they watch the people going by.
 I am all right with the world
so I buy them a sausage roll
and a muffin and a cup of coffee.
He says thanks and introduces the dog.
"Here is John Lennon' He says
"He was the best of them, you know"
I agree and we watch John
  eating his sausage roll.
Washing man is now
talking into a phone that glints golden
at us. He is jabbing the air
 with his finger and we hear
him say "You had better deliver".
We watch John a bit more
and the old guy eats and drinks.
Then John sneezes, coughs and farts.
The old man starts to laugh
and then I do and John is
barking embarrassedly.
Car wash man glances our way
gets in his car and
heads toward the city.
I say goodbye to
John Lennon and his master
and wish them luck
It is not our world
it belongs to the others.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I am talking with
Twig the Wonder Kid
 who is telling me
what is was like
when Jerome walked
 out and left him.
His shaking hands
lay out the
bare, bleached bones
of the relationship
so that I can't
help reaching
across and holding
both hands.
Which wakes the
spider in my heart
who unfolds
and laughs at me.
And details my
actions when two
boys were caught
kissing at school.
"Weren't so caring
then, eh?' it says
and scuttles back in.
Which is true.
Stupid, narrow minded
provincial boy
scared of love.
Because it would
open you up
like a pipi.
Which is what
it did eventually
so that now I can
hold hands and
 walk arm in arm
 with Twig.


Thursday, November 14, 2013


A man on the bus says:
"This is the end of coding"
and this pleases me
because I never get the codes
that people use.
The life we live,
 being cheerful,
 while doing work
we don't like
with people we have
to put up with.
I'd like to think that now
we'll be able to say
"My life is not too good right now"
without being thought
Gloomy or Depressed.
Just, you asked and I told you
Did you want the truth
or was this more code?
Or  is this where
 I bravely
soldier on
Things Always Turn Out
Don't They?

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