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TRACE ELEMENTS
When this grew it grew as a suburb of
(we came looking for a specialist shop, dolls house
        furnishings)
an outlying commuter-kind. Yet, faithful to vines,
(fruits, yards which are shrewd about timbers)
Yugoslav names are common,
                                                more recently Dutch.
Sleepy Hollow, they spoke of themselves,
liking things that way, stuck with a longstanding joke,
their neighbours, who don’t throw noisy parties
but will not enter into
the spirit of things: the City’s largest
cemetery is right on the town board boundary.
A crematorium stack signs another day’s business.
That is part of the tradition.
Formerly they had problems with their dust
and ash from wood wastes. Diversified
local employment now means more to do with
light chemical industries’ smokes;
also fallout from orchard sprays concerns them.
Many households still make use of rainwater.
Tradition costs no less to count.
You must take stock of trace elements
which fall from breezes, spill from rains,
tumble roofs, slip into tanks,
                                              breathed / drunk
in are
          Reuben Williams Tranter Dewy Ledlow
Roberts Neddy Johns
                                  who lightly lie upon their earth
ash to ash, who have not gone
as dust to dust as they were meant but
speck the Richards on their branches,
whirling flecks in Adam’s ale.
They have to live with it.
                                                            12. 5. 85
Editor's note
Trace Elements : first publication; the town is Glen Eden in West Auckland; the cemetery is Waikumete in Waitakere City, between Glen Eden and Henderson; Richard : a type of apple; the deficiency of trace elements, like cobalt, in the New Zealand soil is usually compensated for by topdressing with chemical sprays
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