Poetry Shelf poem: Jenny Powell’s ‘Unbuttoning’


Under angry sea under cut of coast
under arctic melt under winter sleet
under webs under leaves under nests under shells
under songs under psalms under cigarette butts
under worn coats under Sunday church
under smeared glass under dawn chants
under pursed lips under empty purses
under white sheets under bleached stains
under negative photos of holiday shots
under take potluck under take your pick
under leaving traces of DNA
under swirling hawks under plucked feathers
under forest cover undercover drones
under glacial husks under breathless dives
under mountain divides under dammed rivers     
under mounting debt under hard labour
under worked to your bones under bankruptcy
under overworked flocks of undertakers
under social upheaval under critical protest
under secret surveillance under constant reprisals                   
under circling cyclonic anxiety
under spewing volcanic uncertainty

under landslide delays under floods of dismay
underneath the unbuttoning of us our grieving hearts.

Jenny Powell

Jenny Powell lives in Dunedin. Her last poetry collection Meeting Rita, (2021) was published by Cold Hub Press. When working on South Dunedin poetry projects she is known as the ‘Dunedin City of Literature South D Poet Lorikeet’.

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