Tuesday, 26 February 2013


A poem written about the time my family moved from the countryside to Gore after the sudden death of our father.

'Immigrant Song' *
And there was always the library,
the rustling insides
of its deep-red brick,
the smell of ink and old sellotape;
its confinement
oddly comforting

On the way home
one of my sisters would read while she walked,
only looking up to cross the road.
We’d cut through the Gardens,
where the caged kea called,
its keening clearer at night

when alienation is especially felt,
as if the kea expressed the same ache
we felt, of sudden transplantation
from wild green; the orange flame
of under-wing feathers
closed-up behind cold wire.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

*Immigrant Song: Title of Led Zeppelin song. (On an LP I played many times at this time of my life - in my bedroom at 27 Devon Street, Gore.  The house no longer exists, replaced by ownership flats. The L.P. still exists. It was sent to me by a penfriend - a generous Californian teenager by the name of Ross Armitage. I would never have listened to Led Zep. of my own volition , so thank you Ross, Postmaster's son** from Santa Maria - or wherever you are now - for encouraging me to listen to music other than Pop and Country & Western.)

** Ross became my penfriend when in 1969 I wrote c/- Post Office, Santa Maria, California - the old drawing pin on the world map trick -  asking for a penfriend!! and the Postmaster handed the letter on to his son. 

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