Friday, April 29, 2011

New Air

A blue sky with
strips of thin cloud.
A mother and daughter
walk past discussing something
called a brownie revel.
When you might think
girls of that age would rather be rebels.
A tortoiseshell cat accepts my
greeting, smells my offered hand
and allows some chin scratching.
The footpath starts to slope up here,
so that the park at the end
of the road emerges to view
quite suddenly. Sometimes startlingly,
when rain has flooded it
and ducks find an unexpected lake.
Today is warm and soft and
at the top of the road I pause
to appreciate it.
I have not walked far but
my heart has come a long way
and I can see the horizon now.
I am back in the world
and learning to breathe.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Death of a Pianist

I do not think that his fingers
would let him go quietly.
They would be so used to,
coaxing and cajoling beauty,
from felt and wire and air.
They would have gripped with ferocity,
to hold him here.
There would always be more
to do, there would always
be a concert to come.
But when it could not be denied,
that the piece had been played,
with maybe a gentle air
to lead to new sounds.
New music no one else could hear.
 With the promise of
passion and drama unknown.
He would have to acknowledge
the turning of a page.
He would have to move on
to the next stage.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Altered native

Explanation: When I was growing up in Whanganui, one of the main topics of conservation was about the commune set up by one of New Zealand's most well-known poets James K. Baxter. Recently I read the play "Horseplay"   and was struck by the way NZ society treated the "different" among us. I think we have got better at it and can only report positive reaction to my poems.
The title is a convoluted pun on the word "Alternative".

You had to sing, James K.
With your fine, mad words.
You had to show us, about us,
and make some ask why.

So that we could reply with scorn,
or fear because you were different.
The ideas you had were odd.
"Full of shit and God."

Oh sure, some would listen,
think what's he on about?
Maybe read some more,
but mostly we buttoned down and moved on.

I don't know much about you, hard to like from what I hear.
though I don't think that should matter.
You had to sing so we had to listen,
lifting our ears out of the clatter.


I am done with emotion, she said
or maybe it has done for me.
The heart has a limit for breaking.
Wells of tears have run dry.
I don't want entanglements,
I don't want clutter,
there will still be friends I suppose,
but not many and not close.
I'm just used up and worn down.
It is enough that I loved once
and cannot forget that last time
they went out through the door,
and did not come back.
From the white crosses by the road.
And I will feel no more.
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