Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Tuesday Poem

One of these Tuesdays I will post a poem that someone else has written ... at the moment it just seems easier to grab a poem from out of my own store. That way the only person I need to ask permission from is myself (and guarantee an un-delayed response).

This poem is about remembering the days when I was a teenager living in the country and looking for some idyllic spot in which to read a book.

lost in ... my own green light’

Laying a curved trail

behind me like a river

in the long grass

of a paddock that waits to be made

into hay after summer

has squeezed it dry,

under a plain sky

not yet written on by weather,

I search for a possie in the middle

somewhere safe from the peril of edges,

the dilemma of borders,

to read from a treasury

of poets: Keats, Browning,

Hopkins, Thomas, Donne, Milton,

Rosetti, Gray, to emerge

much later with skin damp and itchy,

cross-hatched with the imprint

of grass-stalks, to hear

a skylark’s scream as if

the whole planet had shuddered

to a halt; to the slow awareness

of a tractor’s faraway drone

boring into the earth,

its very heart.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

The title of this poem is a line from a favourite song of mine (in fact I have used another line from it for a poem that is in 'Made For Weather'). The song is, 'Lost In Paradise' as sung by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66.

And a must - for more Tuesday Poems - GO to Tuesday Poem


Tim Jones said...

Another lovely poem - what especially struck me about this one was your use of the word "possie", which I don't think I've ever heard since I moved to Wellington. That word alone conjured up Southland for me!

Fifi Colston said...

...after summer
has squeezed it dry,

love this imagery and the imprint of hay

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Oh. This is amazing. I loved especially the clear sky that hasn't been written on, and the cross hatch the grass leaves on skin....

Catherine said...

I'm a North Islander born and bred and definitely familiar with the word "possie" - but it's more a word that children use, not adults, so perhaps that's why Tim hasn't heard it in the North Island.
I'm very cautious about posting Tuesday poems, because I don't really have enough quality poems in store to keep going very long, I don't have time to seek out permission from others, and I'm a little intimidated by the quality of the poets taking part. I'm enjoying yours though.

Pen said...

I love that plain sky, and the one one in the photo. Thanks, Kay.

Becky Willis Motew said...

Stunning, as always.

You see the world in the way I like it to be seen. Keep going. You will solve all problems, I feel.

Kay Cooke said...

Tim - Yes we used 'possie' a lot as kids. It's not such a common expression now. Long live local vernacular!

Fifi - Thank you. It's a nostalgic poem for me - I don't think I could ever recapture that day in real life - even if I tried, which up to this point I haven't really (except by writing).

Joyce - Thank you - and yes to your question on Fb, there are bugs and insects but all friendly and going about their own business! NZ doesn't have snakes. :)

Catherine - we would LOVE to have you on board - your poetry would DEFINITELY fit right in what are you talking about?!

Pen - Thanks for reading and enjoying and responding.

Becky - Your comments are always appreciated, they always make me feel so good ... happy sigh.

Mary McCallum said...

I've returned to this poem a few times, Kay. I love the curlingness of it, the way it looks up and out at the big sky and then down at the hay squeezed dry and the cross-hatched skin. Truly lovely. [And Catherine... email me about joining TP, it's wonderfully stimulating and addictive...]

John B said...

Not much to it is there? Just kidding, that's what so good about it. I know what you mean about blinking and emerging form a headspace like that - don't we all. Real and above it all atthe same time. Ka mau te wehi, Kay.

Kay Cooke said...

Mary - Thanks for your lovely comments. I have written a few poems about lying in summer's long grass ... I think it must be my happy place! (I will see Catherine gets your message).

John - Ah if everything was so simple! Yes, I did want to convey something of that re-emergence - you got it! Thanks.

A said...

Oh Kay, what a beautiful poem -- thanks so much for posting it :-)

Di said...

Oh god ... yes, that's all I say on reading your poems but you're words are like a siren song that calls me home, if not home then so very definately back to my childhood. That place of safety and ease.

Okay, I have to stop catching up before I start wailing and gnashing my teeth with longing and homesickness.

Beautiful work, Kay.

Much love and gratitude,
Di xx

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