Contained by Nias


I am contained by fever, contained by Nias
contained by an island coast
that spews tsunamis
by earth that wantonly self destructs.

I am contained by noise
contained by endless roosters crowing
by the cardinal call of geckos contained by the staccato fart of motorbikes
kicked alive below my window
to ratchet down the broken hill
contained by the shock-squeal of a pig
and the slow progress of its dying
I am contained by the chorus of dog bark
and by one that yelps a frenzy
as though caged
or constantly beaten
or prodded into fear
Wondering if the dog is caged
to be eaten is part of my containment

I am contained by the decomposing
of garbage
and the threnody of rot
drifting through the window

I am contained by dull thudding
as a man breaks
an hour of sticks by hand
by the metronome drone
of a timber planer
sloughing the skin
of jungle pillage

I am contained by head hammer
Speculation on how fast I could crawl
from this fly-zipped-dome/
if the quaking earth decides
to reprise
the death throes
of a year ago
and walls start falling

I am contained by a child’s
falsetto song
in thickening dusk

I am contained, when night blots the window frame,
by a melancholy guitar
and the yearning harmonic
of lover’s voices


(Published in famous reporter 34; December 2006).