Poetry Shelf Monday poem: Rachel Lockwood’s ‘Water Ways’

Water Ways

I have bloodied and been bloodied,

I have been rivered and streamed away,

I have been forest, honey, and I have

been dirt drawn beetle, honey, and

I have been mud. I have been

lung smoke, throat clearing,

menthol rasp, honey.

I have been liar and bullshitter,

I have been the round pot of tallow, honey,

and I have scraped. I have been

oceaned and rivered away.

I have been deep ravine, baby,

I have been gully, I have been fog.

I have been mirage darling,

I have been cowboy antithesis.

I have been shadow hungry, honey,

I have been fern, and salmon, and bird.

I have been runt of the litter, honey,

I have been fed fat on cream.

I have been love lettered, been Dear John lettered,

I have been written to ask to leave

and leave and come back again

like some migratory sea bird

to the winter. I have been soft-held,

honey, I have been soft-held by you.

Rachel Lockwood

Rachel Lockwood is Hawke’s Bay born and bred but now living in Wellington and studying a BA at VUW. She was a 2019 National Schools Poetry Award finalist, and has previously been published in Starling.

You can hear Rachel read her poem in Starling 10 here

Rachel muses on essa may ranapiri’s poem ‘she cut her face shaving’

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