Friday, 30 April 2010

final two

I have reached the end of NaPoWriMo. (Big sigh). I will post my thoughts on how I think it went later. For now, I need to take a break. Thanks to all of you who have been reading my poetry all through April and for the responses I have received (both on-line and off-line) it has been much appreciated and is truly what has kept me going.

how it deconstructs

Looking up I see one nostril filled
with bulging green snot
in a four-year old's nose
as he announces from the top of a slide
how he is going to descend.

A three-year old begins to understand
counting, how it deconstructs the mass,
separates one thing from another. How
the mother duck calls for her five ducklings,
but only two come back.


spatial awareness

With coloured plastic shapes
that link, together
we have been making flowers
and dogs, encouraging
spatial awareness.

Suddenly his bottom lip wobbles,
he wants his mother. How long
until Mum comes? he asks me.
I explain that the big hand
has to go around five times yet.

He is a child who does not do
childcare centres well.
Home with his mother
is where he feels real and whole.
And I'd do anything

to make his mother appear
at the door, anything to stop
the world for him
as tears run down his cheeks
like light lost in the rain.


Kay McKenzie Cooke

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Marianne and Marguerite

My cousins
had a walkie-talkie doll each,
one called Marianne,
the other Marguerite,
made from brittle plastic
with shiny, synthetic hair
and ribbons.
With jointed knees and elbows
and on their backs
under their singlets,
a mysterious, round,
holey, voice box.
They had eyelashes,
blue eyes, round, rosy cheeks.
Two-feet high, they reached
our knees and were perfect

and beautiful. Marguerite
with her waist-long,
blonde, wavey hair, Marianne,
with her long, wavey, brunette
hair. Which was right,
being named after the characters
(fair-haired Margeurite,
deceived out of marriage
and true love
to the handsome, sailor William
by her dark-haired sister Marianne),
in the 'Green Dolphin Country'
serial played every night
on the wireless which I listened to,
peering among the smell
of warm electrics and tiny,
lighted bulbs in the dust-covered back
for the people I can hear in there.

We took the dolls for jerky,
stiff-legged walks,
which they could only do
by us working their arms,
and one step at a time
so they couldn't be hurried
in their pastel, nylon
frocks, puffed sleeves,
and stumpy, black,
Mary-Janes with white,
ankle socks, they
did whatever
we wanted them
to, closed their eyes in sleep,
called us, "Mama" when turned
upside-down. Anything,
at all, they were so
dumb and blank.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

fire's place


I see in these split logs
creased stories of trees,
their potted histories,

what time has packed
into each grain. How quickly
the wood burns

with an organised sound of toil,
working at the fuel
with a consumer's urgency and greed.

Finally this fire
will use up whatever 'pay-shuns
and per-severance,'

(as my Irish great-grandmother
would say) it has left
to conjure the heat

needed to warm my knees
and that area there,
where so much of the day

shores up, there,
right in between
my shoulder blades.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Monday, 26 April 2010

Tuesday Poem

For the thought of muses and what is a muse anyway and the following discoveries which this subject sparked, I must thank Joanna Preston. She has been a faithful sideline supporter through this NaPoWriMo and I've been cheered on and encouraged by her as I've trooped through this month of facing head-on the challenge of writing a poem-a-day. In her latest post on her excellent blog A Dark Feathered Art, she asked how we were faring and also, by the way, how were we getting along with our muses? This got me thinking ... and as it happened, the day's incidental occurrences fitted into that thinking beautifully - as they tend to do when you are listening and looking. Which is part of the lesson I am learning from NaPoWriMo.

making my day

Catullus in Carmen
'And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is,
and whatever sort, oh patron Muse
let it last for more than one generation, eternally.'
(Student translation, 2007)

I'm an independent sort, a little stubborn, a little closed
-off, and so the thought of needing a muse to inspire me
does not appeal. Someone in diaphanous silk with a lyre
and a crown of roses, attending so closely, breathing on me,
taking away all my elbow room, unsettles me and I will have
none of it. And yet, I discover today in a portrait I see of a muse
that there is something in the face, its downward glancing,
the containment of a knowing beyond awareness, in the hand
like a butterfly, that says I did not choose to be here,
but nevertheless I am and I will make the most of it.
It was something I'd seen before and I knew then that I had it
all wrong, for what I was seeing in the face of the muse,
were the faces of my grandchildren. And then out of the blue
my son in Kyoto Skypes me saying my granddaughter
kept asking for, "G'an'ma," and pointing to his laptop.
Then before I knew it, there we were, over acres of space,
all three of us singing together, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star'
and 'Eency Weency Spider' and I held up my mug of tea
and she her drink-bottle of wheat tea and we said, "Cheers!"
and toasted, I guess, family and long distances
broken down between. And to seeing. Later,
I tell Kate about it and she says, "But that's so cool.
That must have really made your day."

Kay McKenzie Cooke

For more Tuesday Poems go to Tuesday Poem.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

ANZAC Day, Dawn Service

final note

By the war memorial as darkness thaws
to dawn, the wind shifts through
the large trees full of dying leaves
with a shudder that moves us
to imagine the sound of dark waves
rolling on to a beach

in a more perilous, morning light.
The soldiers had enough ammo
to make a way through,
to protect a mate,
or so they believed. The Last Post
sounds, the bugle's indefinite final note

like a question, a haunting echo
for those hearing it to hold on to
and remember
as it hangs in dank air
like an oar just before it slices back
down again into black water.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Saturday, 24 April 2010

here and there

Our son fell in love with Japan after visiting there as a fifteen-year old on a school trip. When he returned home he said, "I 'm going back." And he did, about 6 years later. "Don't worry Mum", he said at the airport, "It's only for a year." That was 6 or 7 years ago. Three years ago he fell in love with a young Japanese woman who has since become his wife. They now have a daughter and a son. We visited them in October last year and also fell in love with Japan. It was all meant to be - Japan has now become part of our family.
I remember when our son was a toddler and how with his blond curls he was often a popular subject for Japanese tourist's cameras. How they loved to photograph him! Maybe there is something in that of 'coming events casting their shadow' ...

homesick for Japan

As we approach by air
the still islands that make up
Japan, our own small stories
beat an urgent song
from the yearning to see family.
Surrounded by a language

we cannot translate,
we drink airport-lounge coffee
and something that we never expected
we'd have to make room for
already begins to re-configure
the strange into the familiar,

grafting it to our blood
with a careful husbandry, aided
by the burying of the placentas
of our two grandchildren
in ancient, family-land in Okayama,
under magnolia

and olive tree saplings,
so that our DNA becomes a part
of a foreign country's soil.
So much so that after staying there
long enough to befriend and absorb,
we leave behind

what has now also become
partly home, and knowing
that we've only just begun
to understand
what it means to marry
to ourselves such mystery.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Friday, 23 April 2010

Concrete Dinosaur

I spent some time with my grandson today - you can see him there at the bottom of the dinosaur's neck, feeling very pleased with himself after having accomplished a smooth slide.

dinosaur slide

We count the dinosaur's toes and then we count them
again. Its rough, tree-trunk legs hefty with concrete
have been painted many times over, this time
in art-deco colours, yet they still retain
the original marks of the trowel.

The first child I watched slide down its long neck,
was thirty-six years ago, almost to the day,
a boy called Daniel, the son of a friend,
when fall zones, combination play pieces,
donkey rockers and tubular steel

wasn't as important as sawdust and function,
jungle-gyms, old wagon-wheels
and real traction engines. Today my grandson
looks at me with a composure
drawn from the sap of a million ancestors,

as if he knows all there is to know already
from here, but is unsure
whether he'll let me in on the secret or not.
For now, we'll just stick with him deciding
when it's time to leave.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Thursday, 22 April 2010

feeling sluggish

I had a slow day today, I felt like a turtle or an owl. I wished I owned a green car.

interesting adjectives

Today I felt as sluggish as the low cloud
not bothering to move from where it lay
slung all day grey and heavy
as a lump of clay. Today I thought
of looking up interesting adjectives
to make a list to use in everyday
conversation. Today I thought
about how a study proved
the happiest people
are the ones who own green cars.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

by a cold sea

Today was one of those dream days with splendid weather. Because I didn't have any work, I took the opportunity to revel in the warm, autumn sun and with camera-in-hand, explore.
All day a poem has quietly murmured in my brain ... not sure yet if I heard exactly what it was saying, but it's close enough for now.

by a cold sea

Someone sitting at an outside table
under a too-large nikau-palm
whose days were numbered, told me
that we all age at exactly the same rate.

The proof of this will I'm sure
become more and more evident as I go on
walking, seeing the colours
of autumn's quiet, breathing-out

and suddenly a monkey puzzle tree
I didn't see coming,
or the edge of the world
at the beach where I'm up to my ankles

in goose-grey sand
with nothing to worry about,
my toes printing daisies by a cold sea
only too eager to wipe them away.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

shopping for poems

Something I've discovered about writing a poem a day, is how little room it leaves for anything else. Like a beagle, my mind persists in attaching itself to and following anything that has even a hint of poetic material. The whole day starts to turn itself into a poem. I really must try to stop, it's driving me a little crazy. Thankfully I feel the yen for a landscape poem ... which gives me the perfect excuse to head out of town sometime before this month is over.


shopping second-hand

Time mocks me as it slides by

turning memories only five years old

into sentiment. Like how I miss

certain people, now gone from this place

with no chance any more

of bumping into them down town.

In the cleanest Public Toilets

I look at myself in the mirror, afraid

that what I see isn't the real me,

or alternatively, is an only too-real

reflection of someone shopping alone.

Too long spent tumbling

your own unspoken thoughts

will drive you crazy in the end.

It's no wonder lonely people

cry out suddenly or wave to strange cars

and buses when they cross at the lights.

To get the bus home I happily retreat

from designer-frontages, clever windows,

to dog-eared Rattray Street,

a detour to Stafford's SaveMart,

where pretension is a foreign concept

and friends take cheerful intakes of breath

at surprise finds, “Do I look good in this?”

Where I am content

among the smell of other people

and no longer have to try.

I know where these people are coming from

and why they stay. I feel myself relax

into a ball of happy plasma.

Kay McKenziee Cooke

Tuesday's Poem

old music

I am in a circus trick of the balancing kind
my running feet must never leave
this rolling planet's surface
as I make my way back home,
and all I want to do is sleep, not plod.

And there again in the sound of the wind
through wires in the empty playground
where a concrete whale
dopey with its ache for children
to play, can't stop smiling, love

right there, and in the way that last corner
before home calmly crooks
like a parent's elbow, restful
around their child despite knowing
all that we cannot bear.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

This is a poem in its first draft (like all my others posted recently). I am doing NaPoWriMo all through April, attempting to write a poem a day - and it's just about killing me! They are all imperfect and un-formed, so please excuse ...

For more perfectly formed poems, I urge you to go here (to Tuesday's Poem).

Sunday, 18 April 2010

old news & new news

And here we are at Day 18 of the month and what should rightly be my 18th poem - like THAT is going to happen. (I have actually not been keeping count. On purpose).
However, it's looking like this week's not going to be such a busy week for me as last week was, so I may be able to get back on track again for the final leg.

rhythm & design

My mind rests on rhythms and what a day means

and how a volcano in Iceland can disrupt the normal.

Meanwhile, at the window the cat whines like a puppy

as he regards the fantail's firty skirt. A bumblebee mouths

the sill. A kereru whop-whops above where I sit

on the garden-seat swinging and thinking of rhythms.

Soon, the smell of cedar among the firewood

will signal the beginning of the day ending,

the sizzle of what's in the pan for dinner semi-drowning

the voice of the television newsreader with news

perhaps of some solo rower crossing an ocean

in order to repeat what his father did some years ago

but in the opposite direction, which in a way is what

we all do every day of our lives, by chance or by design.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Too Tired ...

I am pretty much* 'brain-numbed', totally*, so no poem tonight; not even a stream-of-consciousness one like the one last night. Maybe I will double-up in the weekend, go full-out* and write like crazy*.
A week of working a 9.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. shift has like*pretty much* killed any desire in me to write. How did Wallace Stevens do it? (Didn't he like* work as an accountant every day of his writing life and like* write when he got home in the evenings?)
I've gotta* have this, like*, space in my head for writing, so a full-on job with pre-schoolers leaves no room man* for anything else. Far out man*. It, like* totally* freaks me out* and plunders any extra resources and energy so that by Thursday night, I'm like* robbed of any inclination to write. This is so wrong on so many levels.*
Roll on the weekend and a chilled-out* week next week. So far I have NO work lined-up for next week. Awesome man!*
* (You may have noticed some younger generation 'isms' have snuck their way into this post, speckling my normal, more stilted, older-generation writing style. Comes from working with them and living with them!)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

it's a poetry thing

I don't think I can manage a poem today. There was a poetry reading on tonight, and after a full day at work, no window available - oh, apart from the 11.00 p.m. - 1.00 a.m. window; but I have used that one a little too much this week, and my body is paying me back, aching for reasonable sleeps.

Well ... maybe I can give one a go. It will have to be about the poetry reading I guess ...

poetry night

Our heads cloudy with words.
According to my friend Joyce*,
there are about as many poets in the world
as wearers of Davy Crockett hats,
so not a lot.

D.T. is here for the first time
- says he's a closet poet.
C's real, off-line outline
into herself, warm and dear.

A and M and L and C,
and S and J. sit, quietly
dancing on the inside.
L has his ukelele.
C M looks taller than I remember.

The coffee machine goes quiet.
The poets stand up, recite;
beautiful , perplexing
curious, lovely,
lovely, lovely ...

water and fish and rainbows and rooms and birds and parents and eyes and colours ...

We file out, farewells clinking
on a St. Andrew Street
chilling up its autumn night.
As we drive home
we remember other poetry nights.

All different. It's an organic thing.
As I write this, outside
a possum hisses and wheezes
from somewhere
in the pittosporum.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

* Even though I haven't asked Joyce's permission to use the line about Davy Crockett, I certainly want to acknowledge it as her's.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

eyes of an apologetic blue

Diagnosed at eight years old
my first glasses gave me planes
in the sky, the ability
to spot at ten yards
the stubble on my father's face,

the delineation of each tree
on hills no longer just a blue wash.
At first I was a novelty,
the freckled kid in glasses,
then, the teenager

with eyes behind lenses so thick
they looked like those of a crab's.
Later I was told I needed contacts
to be set free
to see in the rain.

Now age is a factor, my optician says
as he rolls away the robot face
and enters the latest data
in a book started forty years ago,
before computers.

Half-filled now, worn
with writing and thin numbers
only he can understand,
it has long traced and calculated
the transit of my eyesight.

I look down, see my feet
tidily stashed on the chair's high step.
Like the easy child,
they've never given me any trouble,
unlike my eyes

that when I look in the mirror,
stare back,
looking old, surrounded
by signs of erosion, and wanting
to say sorry.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

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

Sunday, 11 April 2010


Another Autumn - Winter Poetry Reading Session starts off in Dunedin - beginning this Wednesday night (14th) at 8.00 pm. at the Circadian Rhythm, St Andrew Street. Each fortnight there will be an open mic. and either a guest reader or a theme.
So far the schedule is as follows (with June & July yet to be finalised) :

April 14th - Open Mic. Theme: 'Lenses and Windows'
April 28th - Guest Poet: Sue Wootton + Open Mic.
May 5th - Open Mic. Theme: 'Games'.
May 19th - Guest Poet: Carolyn McCurdie + Open Mic.


I'm not really keeping up in excellent fashion with the NaPoWriMo challenge - nevertheless, I am writing far more poetry than I would've been otherwise just from sheer terror at the sound of panting poets chasing and passing me! Good for the soul ... I think. Either that, or it's forcing me to write for the sake of writing, whether that's good or bad, time will tell.


This is another Mike Cooke drawing I love - I have it in my office and often glance up at it and smile. Today as my fingers hovered over the keys in preparation to write another April poem - for NaPoWriMo - (inter-)National Poem Writing Month - my eyes found the 'stay' drawing again. That's all I needed for inspiration and I was off. (A shame that in copying the drawing, the green where the figures stand has not come out).


He loves his bike

and configuring

desolate calculations.

He wears only black,

is very thin and mostly


so tends not to block

anyone's view. He treats his bike

like it's a dog. “Stay”, he says

when he leaves it

for any length of time.

For example,

when he finds himself

on the edge of some random planet

where bikes are forbidden,

with a boiler-grey atmosphere

above and macaw-red clouds


with the importance

of some cosmic drama.

He points a twiggy finger in emphasis.

“Stay”, he says. But it's easy to see

with its handlebars

at that obstinate angle,

its wheels prepared

any moment to roll over

the edge

of such a flat

and reasonable green,

that's it's hopeless.

Grim resignation

floats all over

his transparent face.

He knows

that he will return

with a heart trying not to break,


hope against hope

that the bike is not out free-wheeling

on dark, airless roads,

lost in depthless skies.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Saturday, 10 April 2010

at work

Today I was told by a three-year old
I wasn't her friend.
Observed total misery,
raw delight. Found shoes,
placed grubby soft-toys
up high, picked up
from the floor playdough
as pink as old-fashioned
woollen long-johns. Named
a painting of a hippo.
Saw a guinea pig's
engaged disposition.

Applied ice to a bruise
nestled like a purple berry
behind a small ear.
Followed perfectly
instructions to place a beanbag
on my head, walk around
the room. And first thing,
as I uncovered
the sandpit and wiped
with a towel
outdoor equipment,

saw a pair of horses
from the stables next door
being put through their paces,
heard the even drum
of well-behaved hooves,
glimpsed the stretch
from the bit to the sulky
swaying like a boat behind,
the silver aerial of reins
transmitting their message of order,
how it begins
in the light of early mornings.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Think circadian, lion-maned
pincushion. For days
the sunflower prowls,
flares for a season, only to die
as predestined,

an inglorious death,
the drained petals reduced
to insipid paper,
the seed-head hub sinking
into brown, grey

then black and such a deadened,
one-eyed stare
that if put inside a coop,
will scare the hens,
put them off laying

as from inside
their ugly capsule the seeds
rattle a warning
to return and once again
stalk the sun.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

P.S. If you don't believe me re the hens ... go to this link (The comments are interesting too!)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

the figuring out of the sky

Photo taken somewhere between Oamaru and Kakanui, Otago, New Zealand.

This time we halt
the car's pointing nose
and I take a photo
of something, what exactly
I can't quite fathom, maybe
a fenced-in softness
to the grass or the sound

of a shuffling deck
of clouds. We are unsure
of where it is exactly
we are headed, but glad
to have stopped, caught
what I imagine
to be the love of a tireless sun

heading west, again
the tractor purring
along the fence-line,
that check of the lie of the land,
the figuring out of the sky.
We think we'll try
for somewhere

in the next town.
Or maybe not. Whatever
the outcome, this day's
soft mouth is to blame
as it turns to our easy pull
on the bit, canters
on into night.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Monday, 5 April 2010

weatherboard home

As well as Monday's NaPoWriMo entry, this is also my Tuesday Poem - go HERE to Mary McCallum's blog for amazing poetry & links to more. Please consider posting poems yourself for this new Poetry Site.

Another house poem - one that yelled out to be written after yesterday's visit to Robert's grandparent's old home full of history, memories and stories. I think this is just one of a few more poems yet to be written about this dear, wee home ...

weatherboard home

It concentrates, this house,
straining with the effort
to remember
it once had a green roof
and a garden full of pink phlox.
It's my mother-in-law's
childhood home
and she remembers the tin
sheet hammered over
the window-frame
after the glass broke,
how the wind howled through it.

Three owners and seventy-
something years later,
on a day stoked with autumn,
we are able to look through.
She examines the hot-water
cylinder in its cupboard,
the corner wardrobe,
its sweet, old, metal catch.
"It's just the same.
Pop would hang his coats
on that very peg."
The owner's fox terrier
snuffles and whines
at the smell of mice
behind the skirting boards.

Outside, the persistent view
of rocks, hills, tussock, lake
and the pear tree still there
with its back to us, huge
and self-important.
The owner tells us
of how when they first looked
at the house (now used
just as a holiday hut)
it was on a bitter, snowy day,
an open fire sputtering
with only two sticks for fuel,

the man and woman
desperate to sell, shivering
with the disappointment
of dead strawberry plants
sent down from Auckland.
"He sat at the table,
right there", she says
pointing to its shadow,
"eating weetbix with gravy".

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Sunday, 4 April 2010

state house

A recent photo of what was my Nana and Grandad's house until the late 1970s.

And a poem about the same house as I remember it.

state house

This house should burst
like a pod spent with life, spill
all its remembered smells
of freshly-laundered sheets,
the mystery of the wobbly ins-
and-outs of the weather-house

man with umbrella, woman
with watering-can. The tin of Tang
above the sink. The macrame
-and-bead necklace draped across
the dressing-table mirror.
Grandad's Golden Kiwi ticket

pinned to the pin-cushion.
Nana's girdle scones with golden syrup.
The 2-in-1 oil-can and 'Show me the Way
To Go Home' ashtray.
But the house does not remember
the Postie on her bike delivering letters

through the window, the girl walking
her pet goat. Silly house. We are stopped
before you and you do not know
why. Do not even so much as wink
your windows as blank
as the eyes of a ghost's.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Saturday, 3 April 2010

such attendance

There is love in the mulligatawny soup,
in the doorbell birds,
in the rain band's smother.

Love in the woman who wears socks
with jandals, in the man
for his pot-belly, the tenderness

as he bears it across the road.
Love in the way the Flat Earth
Society lays the world at your feet.

There is love too in proud hands
whose science, like trees,

relies soley on harmony.

And love in the sun, such attendance
we can count on to set and rise
again, feel its sweet, sweet scald.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Thursday, 1 April 2010

'good-bye to the scorpion'

This is my first poem for NaPoWriMo - which is basically a challenge to write a poem a day throughout April. I intend to use ReadWritePoem for support and encouragement.

And I've found over on Joanne Preston's blog, 'A Dark Feathered Art', some more ideas with a New Zealand twist.

We are going away for most of Easter, so I won't post the poems I write then until after we get back.

This first poem to launch NaNoWriMo for me, I've written for our son who for the past three months has been living and working in the desert somewhere in Mexico. He is due any day now to leave there with plans to make a beeline for the sea - in fact, any body of water will do, he said.

'good-bye to the scorpion'

for Chris

He longs for the coast again,
to taste that accidental brush
with salt on skin, that sound
of the world tipping itself out.
He's ready to say good-bye
to the scorpion, the starving foal,
the starry map of night, thorny cactus
with milk for blood,

and head down any road that leads
to where the land eventually
slips into blue liquid.
He knows now the fire
of the sun is no cheaper
wherever you find yourself.
He's ready now to trade,
heat for squall, dust for sand.

Kay McKenzie Cooke


Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...