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There’s no easy way

Poem of the Week: There is no easy way by Kate Camp

Poet Kate Camp is next Monday’s (22 July) guest in the Writers at Te Papa series of lunch-time talks. The following poem is from her recently released Snow White Coffin which was written during her spell as the 2011 Creative NZ Berlin resident.

There is no easy way

This is the way you will travel through the world
on feet, on arrangements of bones and body parts.

You will be standing on top of your shoes.
You will be walking inside the lining of your coat
and your fingers will poke through the frayed pocket lining.

Around the islands of your back teeth, rich with metals,
will be the liquids that you drink, disappearing down your throat.

There will be air inside you, an egg of it
inside your mouth, and a clam of it.

When you lie in the dark you will be nothing but a clock
spending your limited supply of minutes on minutes.
You will always be inside things, be they rooms, buildings,
or atmospheres, because there is no outside.

And I will tell you something, you will have animals inside you.
Two dark, dark bears, sleeping in a reek of their own urine.
Swans caught with their wings open like fountains.
And there will be raccoons, black eyes full of night time.
They feed on rubbish when they can’t find a home in the woods.