after reading Sam Hunt’s poem ‘Better than this?’ (or why poetry is worthwhile)

lying on the couch
which isn’t comfortable
even with pillows. I get stuck here
sometimes, watching children’s television,
supervising the building
aaaaaaof Lego towers,
snatching moments of poetry
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—like a train
going past the back fence
only 10 or so metres from the couch,
carrying logs from up north.
so close, it weighs through the room
aaaaaalike a deep conscience, unavoidable.

I remember the movie
starring Robert De Niro & Gérard Depardieu.
as a kid, the Depardieu character
lies down lengthwise on a railway track
& a train goes over the top of him.
the other boy (who would grow up
to be played by De Niro)
watches, afraid.
at the end of the movie, however,
it’s the De Niro character, now an old man
who lies across the track,
his neck & legs on the rails
as a train approaches.

each time a train goes past
it’s thrilling, a worthwhile moment
—as it could be for anyone
in Kamo, Maungaturoto,
Wellsford or Helensville
who’s lying on a couch,
hanging out the washing,
or eating a meat pie in the car.

& really, there’s no need
to lie on the track
unless you’re Depardieu
or De Niro
& it’s the movies.

Published in The Lumiere Reader, 25 May 2009.