The Old Dog
A slipping away on this still day.
Autumn in the warmth that is the wood of things.
A comfort in the old dog, like a rug.
Spiders get busy in the sun, knitting a past.
We write poems for dead fathers, for all that dies,
for all that dies by our hand.
A distant music, cars on the road.
Even birdsong, interrupted, the eternal trump.
The vein is open to the heart, unsuspecting as ever.
A heaviness comes upon ... upon me.
This heaviness, just wood to build the sky,
just sky to mask our deceptions.
I am building a great tower:
the wood in which all good things have gone.
Born in 1958, Tom Weston is a poet, solicitor and, most recently, a judge. In the latter capacity, he has served around the islands of the South Pacific as well as in Christchurch, where he lives (and where he remained during and after the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes). Weston has published four poetry collections, of which The Ambigious Companion (1996) and Naming the Mind Like Trees (2004) are illustrated by one of Australasia's most inventive painters, Joanna Braithwaite. 'The old dog' is taken from his most recent book, Only one question (Steele Roberts, 2014)—a collection of poems which, he says, 'came into existence pre-earthquake but have been shaped and moulded post-earthquake'. Bearing in mind his profession, Weston's judgements on the world are commendably open-ended, elliptical and never tautological. With their many registers of voice (supplied by a lively cast of walk-on characters), the poems occupy a social space—equal parts courtroom, suburban street corner, outrigger canoe and drawing room facing the Southern Alps.
further information about Tom Weston: https://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/Writers/Profiles/Weston,%20Tom