Monday, May 3, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Postcards from Warrington ~ Pamela Gordon

1
The light opens up & pours out. I am asleep
(shielded against it) but to pay attention better
to my dream of colour, I open my eyes.
2
Light empties out great spaces in the sky. It flows
over the landscape. I was dreaming "shadows
can be composed of colour, too."
3
A few late kowhai blooms hang from the tree.
They move in the breeze like cocoons. I am
waiting for the tui.
4
The water of this bay keeps whatever you throw at it.
It is an excellent mimic of land and cloud.
It mocks the settlers with their own rubbish.
5
My favourite argument is to insist that darkness
has the right to be defined without reference to
its lack of light. In the evening I have noticed the
sky blot out all colour from the hills until
they glow like bone.
6
Each rock pool is a mirror. One is a photograph
of two power poles.
7
Dawn yesterday & today coincided with full tide.
There is less subtlety that way. I had grown
attached to the bright early ribbons on the muddy
estuary. The real attraction, of course, is the sky.
8
I have seen a sea fog constructed over Blueskin Bay
as a mezzanine, at the level of my window - godwits
on the shore below it, the raised arm of Mt Cargill above
poised to catch long distance radio waves.
9
This is a place of windows & mirrors.
If I turn away from the forms of Mopanui & Mihiwaka
as they frame the southern horizon
like sneaky intuition their reflection surprises me.
10
BBC Music Showcase: "Delius' The Walk
to the Paradise Garden is perhaps one of the most beautiful
pieces of music ever composed..." (What's wrong
with a bit of sentiment anyway?)
11
Once when I walked around the filthiest edge
of the mudflat I disturbed a group of herons.
Their loping take-off was awesome, their raucous cries
alarming as they circled away & away again.
12
Rain is not often heavy here. It is tentative.
It likes to find its way through open windows
to spatter on pages of half-written letters.
13
Three wood pigeons thrash about in a blaze-of-yellow
broom bush. Their weighty bodies cause a chaos
of green & gray & gold.
14
It's time to heat the Zip, to wash the dishes.
Living out here alone, it is easy to entertain
domestic obsessions.
15
Over & over the clear four-note of the bellbirds.
The calling-out of children, cycling past to the beach.
16
No one admits to leaving the five yellow roses
at my door last week. I have put them in the vase
I brought with me from my old life.
17
There is a new moon. I am restless. I need to travel
with all this energy into all these images.
I shift from source to surface & back again.
18
Polynesian patterns dominate the decoration
of the houses I visit. Tapa or siapo is comfortable here
when the hot wind blows from Central Otago.
19
I hear that my ex-husband has shaved off his beard.
I have cut my hair short. We are convincing
ourselves that we are different people.
20
The mudflat is a mirror too. A huge, mildewed,
scoured, flaky mirror. The pine trees along the sandspit
drop cones onto the caked edge of it.
21
The sea roars on Warrington Beach. You can see Hector's dolphins
at play in the waves, or an old sea lion resting in the sand dunes.
It is possible to walk to Rabbit Island at low tide.
22
Do not put chemicals down the long-drop,
the dunny with the best view in the world!
23
For the first time this week the sun has come out.
It is wading at the feet of pied stilts.
24
I am asked how it feels to live next to a mirror
in a world where one might contract
AIDS from a teardrop. I think of mud, of prisms.
25
Of all this grand exposure there is one moment
I have longed to capture. There was a pyramid of light
in the sunset direction, a wedge of silver in the tide.
How can I hold on to it? Should I even want to?



Links to more Tuesday poems on the TUESDAY POEM BLOG.


7 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

I've been hoping you'd post this poem, PC - I was pretty stirred up by it when you read it at Circadian Rhythm a fortnight ago and really wanted to see it on the page. Thank you - L, C

Bee said...

Thanks for posting this, I really like the numbered format and this line:
"I hear that my ex-husband has shaved off his beard.
I have cut my hair short. We are convincing
ourselves that we are different people."
Awesome!

sas said...

this is so beautiful.
my mum's ashes are scattered on warrington beach. i have always thought it to be a magical place.
thank you xxx

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Many thanks for these comments!

Sas, what an amazing place for your mother's ashes... Warrington beach is one of the most beautiful places in the world... xx

Mary McCallum said...

Wow. love it all - the numbered 'postcards' down the page ... the marvellous concentration of water and light... I especially like the 'postcard' below which echoes a favourite observation in Memoirs of Hadrian (Yourcenar) that whoever thinks it is dark in the night hasn't slept under the stars...

"My favourite argument is to insist that darkness
has the right to be defined without reference to
its lack of light. In the evening I have noticed the
sky blot out all colour from the hills until
they glow like bone."

Tim Jones said...

I enjoyed this poem very much - and, in addition to its own merits, it brought back strong memories of living in North-East Valley and seeing a caul of cloud over Mt Cargill from the Dunedin side. Thank you!

Zencherry said...

Your blog is the mask I slip on when my eyes tire of its normal scenery. Your vividness inspires and refreshes. Thank you.