Poetry Shelf connections: two poems from Kay McKenzie Cooke

 

cricket during lockdown

 

The ragged monotone

of a cricket’s refrain

is childhood’s waist-high grass

and boredom. It is last chances,

 

eternity, the beige of neglected summer lawns.

Through an open window

I hear its shrill register

competing

with the sporadic wash

of reduced traffic noise

and my granddaughter’s tearful protests

against an afternoon nap.

 

This cricket’s front-leg click, rub, whirr,

is an irksome useless key

turning a music box

with a loose spring

that cannot be wound any tighter.

I find myself counting on it to be

 

today’s measure of time. Even when

everything turns, re-turns,

the cricket will keep

on. For now though, it is

my stop watch.

 

 

 

above the line

 

Above, a black-backed gull

grifts the high way

only gulls trawl,

a sky- valley current

that streams between

beach and harbour.

 

I look up, see its chest

feathers ironed white by light,

its black wings

rowing west

towards today’s catch:

 

fish entrails, road kill,

mud crab. I note

how it hauls its cargo

of intent, watch

until it disappears

behind the tips

of trees, envision

 

the movement, the trail

it leaves

behind, that caught

rude disturbance

of time’s dead air.

 

Kay McKenzie Cooke

 

 

Kay McKenzie Cooke is a Dunedin writer. The Cuba Press are publishing her fourth poetry collection which is scheduled for release in June 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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