Monday, 12 April 2010

Tuesday's Poem

Even though the date on this post says 'Monday', believe me, it is in fact well into the early hours of Tuesday a.m. when I write this. My blog's time isn't set to NZ time on purpose, because sometimes I like to fox the overseas readers into thinking I am writing on the same day as they are ... (handy to keep a day up my sleeve, for example, for the purposes of NaPoWriMo).
So, despite appearances, it is in fact a bona-fide Tuesday Poem I post here. (Please go here to read more by other contributing poets).
My great-grandmother (the subject of the poem posted below) may or may not approve of my' time management' ... but being far and long removed from the constraints of time herself, may in fact be able to enjoy a little bit of managing it herself; from some far celestial plane ... who knows?

***



Granny Butler


When they spoke of Alison, it was as the widow
who lost two sons to the First World War
and how it was written forever
in her eyes, the sadness and surrender.

Her parents came from Scotland, the Borders,
Peebleshire, where the meaning of their name
'Riddle' can be traced back to the words 'rye'
and 'valley'. They emigrate to New Zealand,

to a town of gullies at the bottom of the world,
where the trees bow and scrape to polar winds
and where Alison was born and later fell in love
with Joe Butler, a Cockney, a song-and-dance man,

builder, gardener, who died young, leaving her
with a three-year old daughter, Elizabeth (Bessie)
my grandmother. When Bessie married, Alison moved in
with her, walked to church every Sunday,

never darkening the door of a pub.
"Come on, Granny," her grandchildren call
back to her, now she's the old woman in black,
struggling to keep up. She remembers things

like Joe's garden, how good it always looked
and the day her two boys came into the house,
beaming, each with a fistful of tiny carrots
from a whole row pulled up before they were ready.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

5 comments:

Agnes said...

Well, it's still Monday here, so there you go.

McDinzie said...

He was cockney was he!! nice writing....reads like a story :-)

Kay McKenzie Cooke. said...

Agnes - yes, well ... it's all a little confusing this time business, ...

McD - Oh yes sis, we have it all in our blood! North south east west!

Becky Willis Motew said...

Your poems always give me a chill of recognition. Not that I recognize your great grandmother, but you make me see her so well. She does look sad in the picture.

Kay McKenzie Cooke. said...

Becky - Your comment is sweet confirmation of why I write, so thanks.

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'