Poetry Shelf Monday poem: ‘School House Bay’


School House Bay


I am wearing poetry

like an overcoat. No a thermal singlet.

I am wearing the wind off the uppity

waves and the green leaves that skim

and the black-barked beech

and the cobbled light.


You can’t see the poem.

I can see the new generation bush

and a single fantail that flits

like a dandelion wish.


My thermal singlet is heavy with ghosts.

It is only the start.

I am picnicking in the thought

of a young girl and her skipping rope.

She looks through the high window.

She draws a tōtara with her sharp pencil.

The grey sky is out of reach.


Does she know the Queens of England?

Does she wear a velvet dress to match the inkwell?

Does she hear the raucous tūī?

Can she pick Istanbul on a map and draw a rectangle?


The porthole slams shut in the wind.



Paula Green

from The Track, Seraph Press, 2019




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