gate-crashes your lunch
through an opening
in the bus shelter wall
it salts your chips
makes you squeeze
the tomato sauce out of your words
onto the battered fish
the butcher’s paper
grabs the name of your crush
and coats it with the hot oil
before the wind blows it
through the door of the Metrolink bus
you mouth feed the seagulls
©Mere Taito, The Light and dark in Our Stuff (2017)
Mere introduces herself at the start of her debut poetry book – a book that I like very much indeed.
‘The island of Rotuma is my ancestral-mapiga (grandmother) home. It looks like a whale on Google Earth. Fiji is my I-grew-up here-home and New Zealand, my right-now home. I moved to New Zealand in 2007 because my father ‘talked up’ this country – he said it was a great country to live in. Except for winter, I have no reason to believe otherwise.’
The book is a book of two halves; five dark poems and five light poems. I have read it twice, sitting on the beach at the end of my run, finding the shift from dark to light sparking even sharper in a dramatic setting. Mere offers music, challenges, an attentive eye and heart, and it feels like a little guidebook to living. On this particular occasion, in this particular way. Wonderful.
So with this poem, and permission from Mere, a warm seasonal, poetry toast to you all!