I am constantly writing poetry. Lines here, snippets there. I remember writing poetry as a teenager. My parents would shake their heads, wondering where on earth the poetic interest came from because they didn't read poetry. I blame my English/History teacher, Mr. Thomas, who was always reciting poems in class. I dedicated my first poetry collection - Cats, Dogs & Feathered Gods - to him.
Sometimes, I send poems out to journals for publication and sometimes I don't. I'm thinking of a second poetry collection and maybe the poems below (or a variation of them) might be included. Or maybe not!
So, for the time being, I'll publish them here so I can curate them. For this post, there are three poems. The first one I wrote in 2016 I think, and it has been through many revisions. You can also read a poem I posted earlier on this blog - Another Day at the Beach.
Chasing Funeral Birds in Morocco
In Fez we fled -
through alleys behind
echoes of owls
played hide and seek
a moonless night when the air
smelled of cinnamon and goats
a thousand miles from home
we wove blankets of camel hair
to catch lost spirits with all their painted
faces that fell in fragments when
Playing with Pink Dolphins
along the Orinoco we waited on a wooden pier for the sorcerers to come. We did not speak as they arrived in pinkish-grey swirls, heads shining and buoyant, breaking the black water surface with wild throats. Encantados we whispered, reached down to touch them, our hands digging beneath dried bone curls on the riverbed. We opened our mouths to drown the sound of macaws as they chanted through twisted beaks – don’t swim with them; stay awake as the night sky burns. But our ears were blindfolded. We laughed and played together as day dimmed. And then - we slept under a dome of stars while the pink dolphins turned into men, walked on land, and seduced us.
Ficus macrophylla (Moreton Bay Fig). Russell, New Zealand. Born 1870 CE. Status: Ailing.
The fig tree ails in the place
of the sweet penguins
Kororāreka - where whalers wheeled
and only prostitutes tasted sweet
heat runs thick like raw
honey warm on heart-shaped leaves
but fruit doesn’t fall far from
parched limbs struggling to
water’s edge to drink as
summer tourists snap shots
and the arborist thinks, yes
it can be saved -
we will build a cage around it,
we will wait…
like mermaids in the dark.