Emma Neale – It Beggars Belief

It Beggars Belief

The small change we slip into the beggar’s hand
press there as if it’s a close cousin of love
is like the coin we would drop into the well
at a garden of remembrance:
may this small kindness be the penance
that takes care of the world’s poundings
an offering to the skittish, feral gods of hope
that still crouch somewhere inside
the electric lights and night store heaters,
the fridge’s motor, the stitches in the children’s blankets,
beside the pantry’s packets of red lentils and raw sugar,
under the thin-worn patch of carpet in the hall,
lares et penates,
please bar the terrorwolf, terrorcrow, terrorsun
terrornomics and terrorment
from our doors.



Emma Neale is a New Zealand based writer and editor. Her fourth book of poems, Tender Machines, is due out from the University of Otago press this year. Last year a small selection of those poems was one of three finalists for the inaugural Sarah Broom Poetry Award (won by CK Stead). She very occasionally blogs at https://emmaneale.wordpress.com and a fuller professional profile is at http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/Writers/Profiles/Neale,%20Emma