Spook the Ponies | Laura J. Roha

$ 7.00


Laura J Roha (Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa) is a takatāpui poet and educator. She has performed her poetry pieces at various spoken word events and book launches both in Hong Kong and Aotearoa, New Zealand. Her pieces have been included on various online platforms and in poetry journals such as The Typewriter. Roha teaches Te Reo Māori and English in Aotearoa. She holds a Master of Education from The University of Hong Kong, and she attained her double major in Art History and English Literature at The University of Auckland.



On Folding

are uncatalogued.
Layers of them - like deck of cards
shuffled and cut,
or sleight-of-hand;
quickly becoming
Orphaned recollections.

Joker in colour
peels her scalp back in to scroll
loops yarn and ties knot.

As a child,
is the smell
of burning wool - spitted?
Hot blood
in fast, runic lines
convulsing down the walls of shearing shed -
Drying until rusted? With eye rims waxen, she will witness
Iron blade searing
the lamb of its tail.
Docked - see it drop- spasm on the grass;
Vivisectioned frog legs, salted - in the same way, jerk.

Or, eating mutton livers at round dining table
under the chair, barefooted - tapping the linoleum like an insect clicking in the half light.
Offal on camber of tongue -
(can a child swallow dreams of tepid viscera - dine with open ulcers? Or is
that only where grown night terrors tuck napkins into collars?)
All these flashbacks are bitter this way: Sliced tamarillo - black seeded - its
juice staining tablecloth.

In slumber, the window-cushioned cat is barely aware of the moon’s flesh -
Whole lunar, husking the hillsides back;
Pry the jaw open. Did you know, felines hold eels in their mouths? Gums –
viscid to the touch.
Smell their breath; hot at the nostril.
You turn away, but she stays to look.
Bluff induce.

Careful now;
There’s mucus in the maw.