A pale day, lightning

when you walk among it.


Sometimes I give in

and try to find you.


I trace and retrace my steps.

But you are nowhere.


‘Go away,’ I tell you.

It’s one scene


after another, one

sheet of paper after


another, one

point after another


point. Then

I am beside myself.


You are beside me




James Brown


I wrote ‘Ghosting’ for Te Papa’s ‘Walk with me’ project, in which contemporary poets responded to Colin McCahon’s painting Walk (Series C) (1973). The painting was McCahon’s response to the death of his friend James K Baxter.

Paula wrote to me saying how much she liked my poem, which was lovely to hear. She is always so encouraging of other people.


One comment on “Ghosting

  1. Love this poem to bits so I hope it gets a whole new audience beyond those who have read it by the painting or in the brochure. I think it is the final lines that really get me. I was so moved to see it sitting on the shelf! Thank you.


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