Monthly Archives: December 2016

A week of poems: Joan Fleming’s ‘The mattress’





The mattress


The mattress


several hot

winters ago

on the dune

is a fantastical



art students


in the coastal


with their backs

to the reddirt


the thing

is being

eaten by


of making

such an object

with its look

of casual


its tessellate


its industrial


its coil

and cushion




its once-



its purpose


its sense of history







is possible

in the white


of the gallery

(not so much

in Nyirripi





the sorry


and the



Art Mattress


and convolutes



back at camp

the wire



as a butcher’s table

then later

we sleep

on it


©Joan Fleming




A week of poems: Joan Fleming’s ‘The kids’


Thousand apologies but I had to take this poem down as I couldn’t get the format right on the blog (crazy to have tried!) and my screen shots didn’t work in all browsers.

I am posting another fabulous Joan-Fleming poem instead.















A week of poems: Helen Rickerby’s ‘Thoughts while waiting next to the Katherine Mansfield statue, Midland Park, Wellington ‘



Thoughts while waiting next to the Katherine Mansfield statue, Midland Park, Wellington

Robot Katherine Mansfield
I am tired, and I want to slide
my hand into your elongated hand
clutch your smooth, chilled fingers
like a drowning girl
I am sure you would take me somewhere:
we’ll fly to Paris, perhaps, before the war, or
some raggy party in London, circa 1908
Or we could just wheel around the harbour like gulls
You could show me the house by the bay
and I won’t tell you it was damaged in one of those storms
(you already know)
Or are you tired too, from standing there
in all this weather?
Shall we just head to Fontainebleau
and we can lie down on those Persian carpets
rest our heads and close our eyes
just for a moment

©Helen Rickerby



A week of poems: Chris Tse’s ‘Notes for Taylor Swift, should she ever write a song about me’




Notes for Taylor Swift, should she ever write a song about me


I look for men like I look for nouns, though

I have very little use for them once I find them.

I write out their names like blank cheques

and put my trust in their honesty. I revise

my lists until I have no time to action them.

Yes, they’re meant to be an efficient exercise

in compartmentalisation, but there’s always

something I’ve overlooked so I rip them up

and start again. Like they say—once more

with feeling! I lack the mechanics to say no,

but I do have the common sense to run away

from falling pianos. Some men I’ve loved

have lacked that initiative. I’m destined

to be a poster boy without a cause,

without a slogan. But you can at least

give me a chance, right? Make me a hit song

for the ages—the last great crossover ballad.


©Chris Tse




A week of poems: Nick Ascroft’s ‘Cheap Present’




Cheap Present
A young mum with a trolley tries to barter
with the Warehouse staff, says yeah her pinus
radiata breadbox took a jolt
and scratched the upper half a bit. They take
her with a pinch of salt, and call the guard.

A skimping hard case writes a cheque, and now
the Black & Decker he can get himself.

The teen who works the checkout beeper watches
all the crud that’s destined for the tip
flood past: a jersey with a little rip,
a spatula, a fishy aftershave
to keep a bachelor a bachelor,

a plastic sword, a power board, some bran.
The checkout chick nicks something for her man.


© Nick Ascroft




A week of poems: Kiri Piahana-Wong’s ‘For Michelle’



For Michelle


You have receded against the far

horizon. It’s been three months

since you left, I can barely make

out the shape of the vessel you

sailed away on. I lie in my garden

and I grieve. Nothing seems to

thrive, not the flowers, not the

vegetable plants. Sometimes I

go to the shore and look out.

I think I can see you, surely

you are just there, surely

you haven’t left yet, it’s too

early, did no-one tell you?

I know now that’s what

happened. You forgot to

read the timetable, you didn’t

realise, Oh yes, the time to

catch this ship is years from now,

I have all the time in the world.


©Kiri Piahana-Wong


A week of poems: Emma Neale’s “‘So Sang a Little Clod of Clay'”



So Sang a Little Clod of Clay’

William Blake


When it hurts, but she doesn’t say;

when it dulls, but he still gives praise.


When she bites, but he refuses rage

and he walks free, yet she stays.


When they wait through blunt dismay

although they ache as the children play


this is tread and bootgrind

this is hope’s hard labour

this is the heart’s ripe savour

this is the sting of healing

this is the rope of time —


and love is dust


in fleet, golden murmuration.


©Emma Neale