Guest poem sent in by Benjamin Withy
(Poem #1565) Maintrunk Country Roadsong
Driving south and travelling not much over fifty, I hit a possum ... 'Little man,' I muttered chopping down to second gear, 'I never meant you any harm.' My friend with me, he himself a man who loves such nights, bright headlight nights, said 'Possums? just a bloody pest, they're better dead!' He's right of course. So settling back, foot down hard, Ohakune, Tangiwai - as often blinded by the single headlight of a passing goods train as by any passing car - Let the Midnight Special shine its ever-loving light on me: they run a prison farm somewhere round these parts; men always on the run. These men know such searchlight nights: those wide shining eyes of that young possum full-beam back on mine, watching me run over him ... 'Little man, I never meant you any harm.'
Note: The lines "Let the Midnight Special shine/its ever-loving light on me:" are in italics. Sam Hunt is a New Zealand poet and raconteur, and in this poem he captures the essence of driving down the middle of the country at night, the road running parallel to the railroad. The imagery of the moon, the headlights, searchlights and the possums eyes ties together the narrative. When he recites his poetry he uses a style that tends to lurch from word to word, the pauses not where you'd have thought, but it suits the words he writes. His poems convey something of the country, fresh, new, and still rough around the edges. Benjamin [Links] Biography and Assessment http://www.samhunt.co.nz/ http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers/huntsam.html