Craig Cliff


Wellington Triptych


One-thirty: Midland Park
      -   the lunchers are all back in their boxes
      -   our hero has finished his mandarins and his friend is just smoking

the pigeons are eating his ash --------------------- just like they have for a

“Evolution eh?”

Perhaps he’s right
There are no dead birds ............................................................... only
defiled ones


upwards in a hungry whirlwind

out the window -- slurried

And great pages fly

leaves separating from flapping leaves
like seagulls in a child’s drawing

a man with a swaddling eyepatch
throws his hands up and out

– out-stretched palms the way you imagine stopping a train –

only for the paper to continue approaching                  but never arrive

Our hero is nearly falling
                                              out the window
                                                                         thesis out of reach

Our heroine is on a train – her progress is



a dead leaf is dance-ing with a cigarette butt
at the top of the e s c a l a t o r
and our hero is no longer going to burger king
to use the hand-dryers on his pit-stains - -
he will blow off his interview and go hunting
for moa with his friends and big nets
and let the world know
wonder once more



Craig Cliff is a young (read: quarter-life crisis young) public servant. His workplace diversions include frequenting lit-blogs, setting fantasy football lineups and writing short bursts of escapist text inside of briefing notes. He is on borrowed time. Of ‘Wellington Triptych’, Cliff writes: “When I write about Wellington, birds appear—which sounds like a Carpenters song but isn’t. Rather than fight the content, I decided to fight the structure.”