I take my Aunty to see the shipwrecks at Port Hutt
When we close the truck doors, small birds fly away from the top of a caravan without wheels
There’s three of them, I say as we drive down towards the coast
One lies next to the wharf; its flaking pale blue exterior betrays the rot.
The other, further down the beach, is a meeting spot for birds.
The third adorns the tired shore across the bay.
Look, hon, she says, after some time sweeping her hands across the detritus.
She is turning a piece of paua shell in her fingers.
A bird flies over our heads.
You could never replicate those colours, she is saying, never reproduce them in any kind of art form.
But all I can see is how much her hands look like mine.
Here I came to the very edge, where nothing at all needs saying
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea
and the moon swam back, its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken by the crash of a wave
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born
and everything is blue again like morning.
from my own bed
I watch my son
his face a pale pearl
against the dark
each of his breaths is a wave
that pulls me in
and sends me back out
I am floating
waiting for the tide to
pull me in
“I am content”
I said aloud and anchored,
My visual net cast out on your inverted ocean
Content to merely marvel
At the uncanny ebb and flow of blue-white, blue-white waves.
I do not need to conquer; to scale
To immerse myself in your cloudy depths
To look upon you is enough. It feels like floating anyway.
The sport will suffice. I catch only to return.
I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three summer days --
three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.
"Emerge" is the theme for Poetica's fifth urban poetry project; Poetica's floating poem and water painting activity is also part of this year's Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA). The festival runs from the 24th to the 27th of October. Click here for more info about Poetica's installation and here for the festival programme. (And "like" our Facebook page if you want to keep up to date with future urban poetry projects taking place around Christchurch.)
As you were.
These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.
But there's one that comes--
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,
closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.
(Raymond Carver (1938-1988), The Current, )