Monday, October 13, 2014

The Word For My Generation

The word for my generation
has to be depression.
We've had it or know
someone who's had it
or got it and whatever the
relationship, we'll
never be the same.
It's not just our minds
that are involved.
It's the whole economy
which we tended for years
and years like it was
our own nest, our
own eggs. Only to
have it turn on us
 and leave us behind
while it accelerated away.
No looking back, eh?
And all that we did wrong
was to believe what we were told
that hard work and honesty
would see us through.
While we were disassembled
and restructured and
even repositioned to
a brighter future.
And as we left amid
the tears (and jeers)
there was no talk of
depression waiting down the road.
No talk of anything much
because, anyway
they wouldn't hear.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Coot

The Coot stands in
the same place
every morning
to announce that
she owns the pond.
"I am Coot of Coot's pond.
Do not try to take it from me
or I will drink your blood,
eat your eyes
and the wails of your young and
the cries of your mate
will be my lullabies!"
Her haka is the fiercest
and my son calls her
Aggro Coot.
I have heard the squeals
of a water rat who got
too close to her chicks
 and have seen her in
stand offs with ducks and even a swan.
Her obsidian eyes glittering
as she swore at them
full of menace and rage.
Yet with her chicks
she is the mother of dreams.
Calling them all 'cheep cheep"
and covering them with her wings
as they  fit into her nest
on a log, in the pond.
Yet it is the metre long
 silent submariner eel
who has the last say
with her cheep cheeps.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Future so Bright

This is just it,
the actual thing.
While we are quite correctly
concerned about
surveillance and spooks
pawing through
our lives.
The rest of the
don't give a damn.
Are happy for that
ploughing up of their
home paddock
the mining in the dark
tunnels of
whatever they call a soul.
As long as they
have a big TV
and sugary beer
 to numb the pain
of a life stolen
when it can be
from corporate overlords.
They'll keep voting and voting and voting
for a used car salesman
of the old school
who guides your  hand
to the dotted line.
So it was us
with our high minded
democracy talk and
thoughts of equality
who were wrong
about this country.

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
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