Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Heidi North’s ‘Piha Beach, Winter’

 

Piha Beach, Winter 

 

My feet punch bruises in the black sand

and I am back in the burn of childhood summers

 

the circle of sentinel gulls

their grey wings tipped to catch the light

 

warn me back

but I go down to the white foam edge

 

bluebottles boated with their pretty poison

yield to the sharp edge of my stick

 

I go down to the place

where the wind kicks holes through my heart

 

and there is a child down there

too close to the ribbony horizon line

 

holding his blue kite

towards the updraft

 

still smiling as it lurches

against the wide white blaze of sky –

 

and I smile and laugh and I run with him because how can I tell him

all the brutal things are yet to come

 

©Heidi North

 

Heidi’s poem was written during her Nancy King Foundation residency in Piha in 2017.

Heidi North’s first poetry book Possibility of Flight was published by Mākaro Press in 2015. Her poetry and short stories have been published in New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK. She won an international Irish award for her poetry in 2007, and has won New Zealand awards for her short fiction. She joined the Shanghai International Writers Programme in 2016 as the NZ fellow. She was awarded the Hachette/NZSA mentorship for 2017 to work on her first novel. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Auckland and lives in Auckland with her partner and their two children.

 

 

 

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