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


Tim Jones said...

I like that poem a lot - if we ever did a second volume of "Voyagers", I would definitely be interested in including it!

My version of telling a bike to "Stay" is saying "bad computer!" to my computer when it misbehaves. It's surprisingly effective.

Catherine said...

What a lovely inventive poem. (The same goes for the drawing)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Catherine on this – both drawing and poem are lovely. Your poem manages to get the same feeling of capture with simple lines, well placed.

And I can so remember the feelings of “sheer terror at the sound of panting poets chasing and passing me …” That's NaPoWriMo!

Kay Cooke said...

Tim - Wow - thanks! (I hope there is another anthology - not just for that reason but because it was such a fine idea and result.)

Catherine - Thanks.

Jopre - Thanks for your lovely comments!

leonie.wise said...

i really love this one. because not only do i love to come here and read your poetry, i also love mike's art


Kay Cooke said...

Leonie - Awww ... that's so sweet of you! Thanks.

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