Tag Archives: Monday poem

Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Kerry Hines’ All-day Wayside

 

 

All-day Wayside

 

He walks in, takes a seat,

eats his pie.

 

He smiles but doesn’t speak

until his farewell thanks.

 

He looks like someone off TV,

but they can’t agree on who.

 

Did you see how quick he ate it?

She shakes her head, disbelieving.

 

Nothing to drink, just pie

and free tomato sauce.

 

*

 

Not yet half-way,

a family squares off.

 

Soggy chips, nachos

missing a couple of ingredients.

 

Forbidden phones, the kids

play with their food.

 

An unhappier couple sits

at the next table.

 

The father sighs; the mother

brightens, and tunes in.

 

*

 

They closed the café

half an hour early.

 

The traffic had been quiet a while,

and the sausage rolls had gone.

 

Finding the door locked, he turns

and pans the street.

 

It’s the service station, then, packet of chips

and a chocolate bar.

 

He parks himself at the picnic table,

but the view doesn’t satisfy him.

 

©Kerry Hines

 

 

Kerry Hines is a Wellington-based poet, writer and researcher. Her collection Young Country (poems with photographs by William Williams) was published by AUP in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Sue Wootton’s ‘Rx’

 

Rx  

I am ill because of wounds to the soul. D. H. Lawrence

 

Iceberg, Peace, American Beauty: the blooms

smack the window in the summer storm, hammered,

blotted, falling early in this discontent. Now

 

is become the only season. Patients all, we ail.

Our wounds are deep, our fractures dirty, complex,

irreducible. Compound upon compound. O rose,

 

we are sick! Thinner and thinner our skins

in these plague years. The lesions fester and we scratch.

Small words buzz and swarm, stripping the tongue

 

of buds. Our mouths are full of boils. An excess of bile

mocks the liver. This contagion of crimson rage,

these wails building. Eros, thou art sore.

 

Our memories fail, fatally. Too much for

get. Thus, prescribe ourselves a salve

for give. Mix in the blue bowl all our howls

 

and mutters. Add the lullabies, waiata, sagas,

ballads, odes. Copy and collate

the scrolls; trace the stories written slow

 

by candlelight and goose quill on illuminated manuscripts.

Resurrect the many, many ways

of saying sister, brother. Compose

 

our selves. Patience, all. Make open refuge

for the human heart and place the books within.

Read, and repeat. Read, and repeat. Let settle.

 

©Sue Wootton

 

Note: The medical shorthand for ‘treatment’ is Rx, which derives from the Latin imperative recipe (‘take’). ‘Rx’ was commended in the 2018 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine (judged by Mark Doty).

Sue is a a PhD candidate in creative practice at the University of Otago, researching how literature articulates what it means to be able or disabled, ill or well. Her most recent publications are her debut novel, Strip (Mākaro Press), longlisted in the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards, and the poetry collection, The Yield (Otago University Press), a finalist in the 2018 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Her poem ‘The Swim’ has recently been longlisted in the 2018 University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize.

 

 

Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Elizabeth Smither’s ‘The joke of the Sapeurs-Pompiers’

 

 

The joke of the Sapeurs-Pompiers

 

A lady hoping to hire a van for her family

phoned the wrong  number and got the fire station

but so intent on speaking French and impressing

her daughters who were hovering…’Monsieur

I need a vehicle that can seat six

with room for quantities of luggage’

 

The voice that answered was deep and masculine

and full of concern and savoir-faire.

‘We could send one of our smaller fire engines

but perhaps the ladder truck would be more suitable.

Now if you’ll give me your street and arrondissement…’

 

The phone fell shaking into the cradle. A fire engine

might be coming at any moment. Sirens blazing

handsome pompiers and even a fire dog

roaring past, laughing and barking.

‘Run,’ she said to her daughters and they fled

around the corner and into a café.

Next day she went to a car hire company.

 

©Elizabeth Smither

 

 

Elizabeth Smither’s latest collection, Night Horse, won the poetry award at the Ockham Book Awards 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Murray Edmond’s LOOKING DOWN INTO THE PROMISED LAND

 

LOOKING DOWN INTO THE PROMISED LAND

 

the place that I will

never go

no soft landing

if I jumped

no gazing back

to where a lover

turns to salt

small indentations

in the dust

in which my toes are curled

it’s just and only just

desire holds me up aloft

and thus that I am stopped

and shall not leap

down to the land below

but if I did

then I would leave behind

these curlings of the toes

like letters in the sand

where my lover

turned to dust

and I did not look back

desire for me was

no soft landing

in a place

that I will never go

the promised land

 

©Murray Edmond

 

Born, Hamilton, 1949. Home: Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Poet (14 books, most recent Shaggy Magpie Songs, 2015); critic (most recent Then It Was Now Again: Selected Critical Writing, 2014) dramatist and fiction writer (most recent, Strait Men and Other Tales, 2015); editor, Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics;  dramaturge (most recent Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis’s Welcome to the Murder House, Wellington May-June 2018 and Naomi Bartley’s Te Waka Huia, Basement Matariki season July 2018) and director (Len Lye: the Opera, Auckland, 2012).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Poem: Nicola Easthope’s ‘Blue Night’

 

 

Blue night

 

Out of the frame is the baby.

Beyond the door is the sea.

Its white noise is not working.

The black out is not working.

 

The mother is not in the frame.

She brings him to her breast.

She rests her head on the sill.

Her head part goes to sleep.

 

The mother’s body, like a whale’s

mind, half insentient, half on

depth watch. The milk draws

blue and baby sleep.s.

 

Here in the painting is a man.

At four he sends her back.

Her neck clicks in the pillow.

The baby whistles awake.

 

Though it is full and fully burped.

The mother jolts and palpitates.

She begins to rise. But the father.

The father is in the picture.

 

On a chair, hardly, dressed, barely, under

damp green light, he shifts from buttock

to buttock, pumping and pressing

the red piano accordion.

 

 

 

Tendrils sling off the lampshade,

sea grass hums. A harmonic

vamp of frond and must and

tears become his cheek.

 

Her fingers free the water –

His fingers free the wind –

breath is the chord is the base tone

small pod of falling whales.

 

 

©Nicola Easthope

Nicola Easthope is a poet, reader, teacher, partner and Mum, living on the Kāpiti Coast. She is a champion of children, teenagers, and activism for a more just, green and peaceful world. Her forthcoming collection, Working the tang (The Cuba Press), includes explorations of her ancestral roots (Orkney Islands, Scotland, Wales and England), the life of oceans in between there and here, and what it means to be Pākehā supporting Te Tiriti o Waitangi, in Aotearoa. Nicola was a guest poet at the Queensland Poetry Festival in 2012, following her debut collection, leaving my arms free to fly around you (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2011). She will appear at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival in October. You can follow her at Nicola Easthope – poet, on Facebook.

The poem originally appeared in an online anthology for National Poetry Day 2015 – ‘Catch and Release‘ (KUPU poetry anthology). 

‘Blue night’ was inspired by Kelly Joseph’s pencil and pen artwork, dirge. Check out her beautiful creations here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Poem: Fiona Farrell’s ‘Photo opportunity’

 

 

Photo opportunity

 

As we approach the river of

forgetfulness, you will notice a

slight acceleration. On your left,

the garage and the motorcamp.

On your right, a thicket of

blackberry. (The berry’s blood,

thorn under the skin.)

Do not adjust your headset.

Do not open the windows.

(Grey braid of river silt, the

lupin’s yellow throat.)

 

Take out your cameras now.

There will be an opportunity

as we cross the river of

forgetfulness. We will pull

over. On the south bank,

shadows cluster. On the

north bank, bone and

rubble. Upriver, the lips

of the gorge, the narrow

source. Downriver is

dispersal and the dump

and seabirds weeping.

 

There are exits here.

And here. They have been

sealed for your security.

Do not adjust your aperture.

 

And now we are on our way.

We have crossed

the whatchamacallit

 

and we are heading

fast toward

 

thingummiebob.

 

©Fiona Farrell

 

 

Fiona Farrell writes poetry, fiction and, occasionally, fact. After 25 years living in a remote bay on Banks Peninsula, she moved last year to Dunedin.

 

 

 

Monday Poem: Ian Wedde’s ‘McCahon’s Defile’

 

 

McCahon’s Defile

For John Reynolds

 

And so Colin I cast off in my frail craft of words

my craft of frail words of crafty words

into the defile of Three Lamps where

struck by sunshine on the florist’s striped awning

and the autumn leaves outside All Saints

as you did before fully waking in Waitakere

to look at the elegant pole kauri in dewy light

I defile my sight with closed eyes

and so see better when I open them the Sky Tower

pricking a pale blue heaven like Raphael’s

in Madonna of the Meadows or the scumbled sky of

Buttercup fields forever where there is a constant flow of light

and we are born into a pure land through Ahipara’s blunt gate

a swift swipe of pale blue paint

on Shadbolt’s battered booze bar where bards

bullshitted among the kauri.

 

Gaunt cranes along the city skyline

avert their gazes towards the Gulf

away from babblers at Bam Bina

breakfast baskers outside Dizengoff

some pretty shaky dudes outside White Cross

beautiful blooms in buckets at Bhana Brothers

(open for eighty years) Karen Walker’s window

looking fresh and skitey across Ponsonby Road

my charming deft dentist at Luminos

most of South Asia jammed into one floor at the Foodcourt

Western Park where wee Bella bashed her head

on some half-buried neoclassical nonsense

the great viewshaft to not-faux Maungawhau

and then turn left into the dandy defile of K Road

where you make your presence felt yet again

Colin through the window of Starkwhite

in building 19-G_W-13 where dear John Reynolds

has mapped your sad Sydney derives and defiles

across the road from Herabridal’s windows all dressed up

in white broderie Anglaise like lovely frothy brushstrokes

or the curdled clouds and words you dragged into the light

fantastic along beaches and the blackness that was all

you saw when you opened your eyes sometimes

like the bleary early morning Thirsty Dogs

and weary hookers a bit further along my walk.

 

I love the pink pathway below the K Road overbridge

a liquid dawn rivulet running down towards Waitemata’s riprap

but also the looking a bit smashed washing hung out

on the balcony above Carmen Jones

and over the road from Artspace and Michael Lett etc

there’s El Sizzling Lomito, Moustache, Popped, and Love Bucket

the Little Turkish Café has $5 beers

it’s like a multiverse botanical garden round here

you could lose yourself in the mad babble of it

like the Botanical Gardens at Woolloomooloo

with the clusterfucking rut-season fruit-bats

screaming blue murder.

 

But it’s peaceful again down Myers Park

the mind empties and fills like a lung breathing

the happy chatter of kids swinging

and my memory of you Colin

sitting alone and forlorn on a bench

must have been about 1966

contemplating the twitchy cigarette between your fingers

as if it divined the buried waters of Waihorotiu

or the thoughts that flow beneath thought

in the mind’s defile at dawn when you open your eyes

and see that constant flow of light among the trees.

 

©Ian Wedde

 

 

 

 

Ian Wedde is an Auckland writer and curator with sixteen poetry collections, seven novels, two essay collections, a book of short stories, a memoir, a monograph on Bill Culbert and several art catalogues. His multiple honours include The Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry, admission to The Order of NZ Merit and an Arts Foundation Laureate Award. His most recent poetry book, Selected Poems, appeared in 2017.

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