An old, grey compass rose
dug into the rough top
of a weathered, fence post,
does not have to move
to point the way
the way back.
Kay McKenzie Cooke
I am reading poetry at Madras Cafe Books in the city of Christchurch on the night of Wednesday 17th March (St Patrick's Day). Mary-Jane Grandinetti and David Gregory will also be reading. We are there as guests of the Canterbury Poets' Collective, to take our part in the first week of their annual 'Autumn Season' of poetry readings. I am honoured to have been asked.
Yet I have to confess to a feeling of trepidation. I always feel strangely removed from myself at times like this anyway, viewing the events as they unfold as if from outer space, looking down on myself going through the motions.
But maybe the reluctance this time to dislodge myself from home to travel over 300 kilometers away, is exaggerated by the fact that I've settled into a satisfying rhythm of writing that I am loth to disrupt. For a good while now, I've been writing poetry about time and place; how we end up where we are (or more specifically, how I have ended up where I am). To be honest, it's been so akin to time travel that all I want to do after writing, is stay put and re-gather.
And yet ... real-time travel always brings its surprises and insights. I can only trust that what unfolds in the next few days of dislodgment, will be added to the presence of what I am writing now.