Saturday, May 17, 2008

March: fragments 59 - 63

north south island
accents change with water
from deep blue to aqua
vowels lengthened even
an Australian would understand

an icy wind cooled her party
being determinedly Auckland
I left my coat off
‘til I could no longer deny
the weather change
he said my dress was
the colour of figs
the wine did not run out
neither did the grass
high & wobbly I drifted homewards
to eat chocolate
& sleep the sleep of the damned

& people drinking
talking music
a concert
a party
another concert
environmental lectures
in and out of footsteps
ruffling the rug
banging around the house
like drunks
knocking over
the furniture
the plants
I miss my aloneness
I will miss the people

a walk to Farewell Spit
a broken necklace

on the ferry between txts

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

March: fragments 53 - 58

the tears return
I sing your song
grief is strong
throughout my back

tis your loving arms
I lack
can I take you back.
it would be hard
& possibly worse
with your alcoholic curse

which takes a stronger hold
now you’re no longer bold
in your decisions

p’rhaps I underestimate
your ability to climb out
of your hole
in the meantime I could go
to the south pole

fervent ferment
fixation factionate
frustration favours
friendship farce
freedom friendly
fashion fortuitous
fizzer fickle
fear fornicate

I’d act beyond my own behaviour
that month in the country turned to four
with the company of stick insects & bees
no clothing upon my lightly freckled skin
sin less actual, more in memory
of twining limbs and amla scented hair
no moon to take me there
when cappuccino froth mustaches my upper lip
my inclination to dream & fantasize
creates a story beyond the real event
who was he anyway some robin hood?
or scarlet pimpernel? to hell with it
his words have tumbled into a novel
fast & furious as I can set them down

Small boats on Gibara float serene
belying tumultuous political change
from capitalist dictator to communist
man the same in different guises
and poverty reigns supreme
Beauty in both sky and sea underscore
despair, sickness and loss of hope
yet a man might cut the rope to take
his friends to freedom drifting on tides
through shark infestations and disease
One remaining finds freedom in a queue
waiting for a loaf of bread, a slice of meat
and dancing in the street before curfew
then bowing to kiss the soil of her home

if marriage is the culmination of a dream
seeded in childhood
what was the dream for the unmarried?

a film star? an actress? some kind of fame?
no thoughts of husbands but lovers occasionally?

but what of old age? is this a semi-retirement?
obscurity? a garden?
or a collection of small dogs?

58 dance beneath a diamond sky
with one hand waving free
silhouetted by the sea.......

sea water fading light
& tears
a pain in my left shoulder
eased by money
not love
it gives me freedom from
freedom towards
a journey
a CD
house renovations
(a sign of real despair)
a move to
a move away
I zigzag
then find my centre
in a poem of politics
not love gone
becoming forgotten

Monday, March 31, 2008

March: fragments 43 - 52

Mozambique, Madagascar
or somewhere North for
rest & recovery, maybe
a discovery of who
& what I can be for
these years remaining
but I enter my world
of work & more work

Each day spins out of control
from that which I aim to do
to that which I actually do
I’m living an old life needing
change or rearrangement
a realignment of the stars
the situation grown stale
needing a gale to blow it over

old relationships don’t grow
but stultify & depress
that is the mess preferred
by those around me

Huia, that place to come
when all else leaves me glum

not visited for some time
I’d forgotten
how I made this place
& on to Whatipu with Katherine

now there is you
to say good-bye to

a small breath
an exchange of
mutual needs
concerning deeds
that need attending to

hope in a garden
cleared of debris
in preparation for
a future unknown

a day for this poet
the reading of a hundred pictures
so many more are left out

is that all life is?
one camera click after another
each month captured
in colour, sepia or black & white

most moments have colour
little is black & white
wouldn’t mind a little sepia
mellow, low lit & creamy

a foolish begging woman
wanting the return to our intimacy
you stand strong, fending off my rage
witnessing my agony
walking me to the gate

a short return to music
then leaving
I need words, conversation
& you

memories & photographs
always make me cry

a clean page
a handful of words
no more tears

Monday, March 17, 2008

February: fragments 40 - 42

at French Bay I sit on the seat
dedicated to Edith May Ransome
another Edith May not you mother
surviving uneasily in your rest-home

today I wanted to take you out
paint your house, fill it full
of my furniture & look after you
my frustration with other possibilities
too extreme to ignore

but you are too difficult, too demanding
& I would fail there also

new start
very definitely new
& not you my dear
not you

depends on whether you
want triple bottom line
or sustainability

Sunday, March 16, 2008

February: fragments 31 - 39

love cannot be found in
a red rose, a carnation
it exists in a word, a gesture
a look, a touch, a memory

as memories flash back
my tears flood & spill
Natasha says, you’re doing the grief
She’s glad I’m doing it now

there are things to be done
forms to fill in
bills to pay
& emptiness to contend with

the music makes y’ do it
it makes y’ kinda mean
it gets into y’ bloodstream

y’ wanna bit ‘ve mm mm
& some lovin too
you hope that this man
will give them things to you

the music makes y’ do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

so ya have a bit of this
& a bit of that
& wonder if you’re better off
at home with the cat

but the music makes y' do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

the love is a buzzin
the early mornings too
you’re playin like a couple
of animals in the zoo

the music makes y' do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

one nite ya come home
he’s fucked off to the wife
ya think about honin
yr skills with a carving knife

the music makes ya do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

ten years in a jail
has no direct appeal
so ya let the man go
with a sigh and a squeal

the music makes ya do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

bein on ya own
aint such a bad thing
no waitin and a wonderin
for that dang phone to ring

the music makes ya do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

but ya need a bit of mm mm
& some lovin too
& the world’s a great place
one gynormous zoo

the music makes y' do it
it makes y' kinda mean
it gets into y' bloodstream

water, warm & murky
possibly polluted
caresses my skin
cleaning the sweat
& the blood

oh soggy, soggy, soggy
him as well as you
you’re trapped inside this thing
a dysfunctional family zoo
if it’s not your dad painting
it’s your mum cleaning up after you
your wife sneaking in the back door
your child shooting through
you sit in the middle of it all
in a weird kind of daze
not brave enough to step out
or to change your ways

my love is always with me
it never goes away
sometimes I forget it
for a moment or a day
you rang me to remind me
my world is not all there is
you have a life, he has a life
and mine is now my own biz

to build & to renew
I give myself to you

mean diamond summer
essential light wanted
a finger wind symphony
through rusty dream

the bed is dismantled
returned to the wife
that symbol of dissention
to our doomed sex life

he’ll sleep now on the couch
or maybe out there with her
that bed has memories of me
don’t forget that sir

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

February: fragments 25 - 30

A sister searches
for answers
I cannot give myself

Look after yourself
she says
both within & without

know who you are
from moment to moment
don’t let

another swamp you
with his neediness
for attention, reassurance

to love or not to love
that is the question

Love for & between women
sustains me
sitting next to Margaret
my thigh relaxes
I can walk again

my music is strong
& moving – great, says Andrea
Rosie is jealous, as always
today I don’t care
The place feels right
I’m recovered from set-backs
& play to impress – from the heart too
no holds barred
allowing my innate seriousness
its full reign
in songs of deeper meaning

tears keep coming
I can't hold them back
he asks how am I
I say not too good
he backs off
does he feel responsible?
he wants to talk
to let me know
about our shared gig
the dates

I walk away angry
at his assumptions
his inability to value
the depth of my loss
his loss
our loss when we are not together

there’s been some mythical argument
does he remember anything he says?
I enroll at the university, walk
watch a film about assassins
return home happy with my day
not wanting anyone, just the day
I get many calls & messages
he is getting plastered
I leave Valentine’s flowers
on his door-step for morning

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

February: fragments 18 - 24

a woman who loves her man
gives indications in gifts
touch, looks, pleasure

changing him is not a possibility
if he wants to he’ll do it himself

a longer stride
a dancer’s skirt
a click of castanets

a pirouette
a twirl
a daughter

drunkenness at parties

people talking over the top
of one another, not listening


ego is largest who has
the most to say, the least

silence a protest, a value
watching, an entertainment

listening maybe amusing
frustrating when the story

is repeated over and over
in louder and louder voice


is it the cause or merely
the enhancer of buried character?

beyond the western sea

a big black dog, a flat road
in a valley between ferny hills

people with energy or lethargy
creating nervous conversation

waking to wood pigeons
& tuis, no traffic noise

a computer in a juke box
to stand at in between

shiatsu happening on the
front lawn & picnics

land agents visit, a party
one man creating havoc

stumbling, spilling beer
leaning into the wind

to drink or not to drink
that is the question

beauty in a movie of people
dying from the HIV virus

Yesterday building a hospital
away from the village to nurse

her estranged now sick, husband

to leave or not to leave
that is the question

Thursday, March 6, 2008

January: fragments 7 - 17

anger like searing fire
bursts out of me

your response so casual
your pain steeped
in alcohol

let yours out
& mine
can stay where it is

small miracle

today my mother died
for a moment or two
no pulse, no blood pressure
no eye movement

then back she came
demanding her nightie
the proper sheets
& paper to wrap up bananas
to leave in a drawer near the bed

while listening to Nick Hohepa

Love is everything
but so is hate

does she believe in love
with uncertainty
& fear ?

hunting in the deep blue sea
he finds peace
in solitude
& work

love is there sometimes
when he returns
when he asks
but sometimes it’s not
anger sets in
& sorrow
& asthma

collectively they use it
to make war
to deny themselves happiness
to confront boredom

boredom is everything
it gives them the reason
to exist
as they please

ethics, parameters, principles
are subdued
not needed

the children suffer
become ill
with want
& need

love is everything
it overcomes hate
& injustice

do they believe in it?
can they do it?
will it ever return?

this cacophony of sound
has become familiar
coloured red, white & yellow
lights like checker-boards

days pass here
an old person’s dream
interspersed with the cries of children

fear sits in my left shoulder
it could become laughter
or anger
there are new things
I wish not to think about
rather enjoy the day
the rain
the air that I breathe
& love heedlessly

heedless abandonment
in the sexual act
disregarding the consequences
reaching deep inside
for expurgating release

drawing in
redefining boundaries
relearning the limitations

each poem
has its own story
uncovers a small stage
difficult to get beyond

a performance so effortless
I may have not been in it
but watching from somewhere above
my body doing its work

you do not need such a volatile man, she said
do you want him for yourself, I thought

women attempt to destroy
the happiness of other women
not knowing in the process
they hurt only themselves

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

January: fragments 1 - 6

or photographs
to commemorate
an ancestor

you an obvious descendent
from a face
that could be yours and hers

such is this reminder
so timely
so true

over years it builds
this sense
of loss
of something missing

difficult to know
what it is
where it rests

the body stores it
through hip
& groin

letting it go is painful
but then
so is keeping it

the building of a wall
smashing it down
rebuilding in part
a commemoration

leave rose
rust rain crush
on delirious purple skin
& garden
with languid music
like smooth honey

full moon

like a bubble
bursting over the hill
into a misty sphere

edges smudged with cloud
that shifts slowly
leaving a sharp white disk

it travels as the sky clears
lighting pathways
where women walk

carrying instruments
music bags, light coats

night stays warm
music transcends it
heavenwards, moonwards

crescendo, decrescendo
mellow & strong
Friday 13th is sung in

I curl into that place
that wants to trust
that wants to believe

just as I get there
safe and sound
I’m shocked out of it

by the truth