Making Small Holes in the Silence

Something like eighteen years ago I saw the first stanza of this poem spray painted on a wall in Auckland, New Zealand. It stayed with me. Got into my bones. Into my daughter’s name. The sound of rain. The feel of rain. The smell of rain––petrichor. The blood of the gods seeping from stones.


I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

the steady
drum-roll sound
you make
when the wind drops

But if I
should not hear
smell or feel or see

you would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me

-Hone Tuwhare


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