David Howard is a New Zealand poet. His books include The Incomplete Poems (Cold Hub Press, 2011), which was 35 years in the making, and The Ones Who keep Quiet (OUP, 2017). He edited A Place To Go On From: the Collected Poems of Iain Lonie (OUP, 2015). He has held the Robert Burns Fellowship at Otago University (2013), the Otago Wallace Residency (2014), a UNESCO City of Literature Residency in Prague (2016), the Ursula Bethell Residency at Canterbury University (2016), The Writers' House Residency, Pazin Croatia (2017), and in 2018 took up the Grimshaw Sargeson Residency.
Tree rings don't show the growth of ego
However sharp, a tool might as well be
broken if unfamiliar. Your hand must hold the form before
finding the tool that shapes it. Soon there is no tool,
the whole is all you feel. My friend,
when he speaks each word is rinsed like an apple
so that the knowing inside bites
back, like a lover.