I abandoned the bad band
and joined the good band: I thought
that we would flood the world with music.
The first rains came and soon the trees
were somehow growing out of water—
we travelled through the forests
by canoe.
                Eventually we built our boat,
the famous one with windows and the deck
of many roofs. Things that once were mountains
sailed on by, and then the whole of the world
had gone, and everything was sky. And yes
I brought the instruments aboard—too late for some,
it’s true. As for the animals, I never really knew.
Someone else did that. I think we ate a few.

Bill Manhire was New Zealand’s inaugural poet laureate, and is also the founder of a well-known creative writing program at Victoria University of Wellington. He has published several volumes of poetry, including a Selected Poems with both Carcanet in the UK and Victoria University Press in New Zealand. A new collection, Wow, will be published later this year.