Poetry Shelf Autumn Season: Poets pick a word – Renee Liang picks fold



FOLD                                                 The Bone Feeder Opera, 2017


once, we were apart.


two ends of a flat earth. then

something folded

we touched.


voices running downstream

the tops of grasses stirring

                                                a light breeze

                                                like, at dawn.


my words fold. touch.

worlds, fold. touch.       some I barely grasp.


Cantonese is my first language

English my second

                                                a light breeze,

                                                like at dawn.


I am a toddler again


knees folding unfolding finding ignoring

the mind yelling doubt


red light stabs the clouds

                                                injects rolling passion


use poetry. ignore the play.

no, don’t lose the fact you are a playwright.


I can almost grasp it.

there are days when I think

now I can see.


wind rises

                                                ah, a storm


I fold. physical folding            of myself is

all I can do to make it work. will it to work.

come together with you to make it work.

force myself to (make it) work. one day, we will place this


carefully folded piece


in front of an audience.


            something folded

                                                we touched.


red light stabs the clouds

                                                injects rolling passion


                                                a light breeze,

                                                like at dawn.


©Renee Liang


Renee, a second-generation Chinese Kiwi, is a poet, playwright, paediatrician, medical researcher and fiction writer. Most recently she has written libretto for an opera, The Bone Feeder (based on her play of the same name) which premiered in March 2017 at the Auckland Arts Festival.  Renee has collaborated on visual arts works, film and music, produced and directed theatre works and worked as a dramaturge.  She organises community arts events such as New Kiwi Women Write, a writing workshop series for migrant women, and is about to publish the eighth anthology of work from this course. She contributes to The Big Idea which links NZ’s arts community. Renee has written, produced and toured seven plays and three chapbooks of poetry. Her next work will be Dominion Rd The Musical, premiering in August. She won the Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize for science writing in 2012, and a Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leadership award in 2010.


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