Saturday, 23 November 2013

How Time Flies

kereru - wood pigeon; called Buthcher Bird by early settlers (European) because of its white apron. It's a bird native to NZ / Aotearoa

 I was wondering what poem to post next, looking for either inspiration or ideas, when what-do-you-know, a kereru 'plomped' down right outside our window. Okay. I had it. I took a photo, confident in the knowledge that the next poem would be from my first poetry book, 'Feeding the Dogs' - one that mentions this bird and its habit of silently watching, pondering ... judging intent. 

extended family farewell

Out of the rain
there's a scent
of leaf mould
as we wait 
for the sound of DOC's
four-wheeler

to check we've left
everything
as it was.
The older kids
inside play one
last game

of cards. The cars,
and ute, are loaded
up with quilts
and games;
keys wait

in ignitions. Standing
around like this
with our soap-figure
shapes, we are
our mother
and father

and uncles,
aunties, all over
again - the way
we argue
just like they did
- who was where

when. There's
an eerie woosh
and a wood pigeon
plumps
down into a kowhai.
It sits there

pleased
and with red-rimmed
eyes, judges
our intentions;
its small head a cork
perched on a jug.

Kay McKenzie Cooke


This poem is about an extended family holiday the McKenzie-branch of the family had one Christmas, co-inciding with our mother's 70th birthday. She is now 83. We are all older. Even some of the 'kids' are in their thirties now. It describes a time before our families left the nest, before more than half of the14 great-grandchildren Mum now has, were born. Perhaps in light of this, that pigeon was warning us about the swift flight of time.

2 comments:

Dona Bogart said...

I love the poem. It brought back wonderful memories of our summer vacations The entire family would stock up and head for the beach every year. We always stayed at the same cabin. A caravan of cars full of kids hollering that they need to pee before we even made it out of town. Aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandpa in the lead. Your poems always take me down memory lane and I like that! I adore your tiny-headed wood
pigeon.

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

Dona, I just love how you give me insights into an America we over here never really get to see - Hollywood & American sit-coms & bad news, hogging our impressions of what it is / was REALLY like growing up / living in America. Our viewpoint is so skewed I reckon. I love that picture you've given me of your hoildays by the beach and the very identifiable journey of you all 'getting there'. Very precious. Glad I am able in part to rustle those memories into the daylight and into internet-space and into my mind. Our connection is very special. :)

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'