Janet and Frank Go Rowing
Against all odds Janet Frame and Frank Sargeson
have ended up in a dinghy on Lake Pupuke
in the middle of the night under a milky moon.
Their eyes have become accustomed to the eerie light
the way shadows loom and fade
the way sounds hit an unfamiliar pitch
the way the boat drifts fancy free.
To be awake when everyone else is sleeping
puts the world in sharp focus
even in the dark on the lolloping waves.
Janet and Frank Catch a Ferry
Janet Frame and Frank Sargeson have caught the ferry
over to Rangitoto for the day in a fit of spontaneity
with a picnic basket full of vegetables from Frank’s garden
(tomatoes lettuce radishes red peppers cucumber)
to go with the home-baked bread a friend had dropped off
some gingercake and some date scones
a hip flask of Frank’s brew and a flask of tea.
Janet is entertaining Frank with wordplay.
The sea’s cape is green today, she says.
To score we are a drifting, she adds.
They take the path towards the baches
and find a shady tree for the picnic blanket.
The water is like a dog’s tongue at the shore.
The sky is like an empty tropical fish tank.
It ought to be the perfect setting to read a novel
that takes you some place else,
but Janet and Frank are content
looking up at the sky and waiting
for the tropical fish to appear.
from The Baker’s Thumbprint, Seraph Press, 2013