blackmail press 29
Belinda Diepenheim
New Zealand

In Your Enigma - Ilinca Höpfner
In Your Enigma - Ilinca Höpfner
Belinda Diepenheim lives in Ashhurst and has had her poetry published in various New Zealand and international magazines and ezines.
She has just completed the Iowa Poetry Workshop at Victoria University

Winter Poppies

Frost under boots
we carry loppers, secauteurs
long ground cloths
to the oblong rose beds
breath smoky
I bend to the crowns
prune off dieback
crossed canes
throw them onto piles

Fragrant Cloud

my baby turns
as I consider the next cut
palms on belly
the Southerly
whipping the tree tops.

At home I put closed Iceland poppies in a vase
light a fire
from the window the waves
on Wellington harbour
contract, spread
rush the shore
as the poppies
softened by heat
drop their hairy calyxes
petals unfold orange, melon, gold.


From the maze of vines
we harvest budwood
place them in bundles
each variety tied with cord
labelled twice.

Late afternoon
tuis squabble in the lime trees
as we soak the grapes
in a lidded bin
to rehydrate overnight

Thursday they're
soaked in fungicide
wrapped in plastic
yellow water pooling
around my boots

I store them on fridge shelves
at zero degrees
life in stasis
Virgo constellation
shifts us into Spring
my blood rises
at the scent of daphne and narcissi
as I pack up and head for home.

Quiet Armies


in the ambient temperature
of room three
silica's sieved onto new leaves
of Chenopodium quinoa
each midrib stroked from
stalk to tip
and washed clean

one surgically gloved index finger
spreads moss green inoculum
on the damaged tissue.


First signs range from
brown ringed spots
pale pigmentation
suggestions of deformity
along leaf margins.

We check daily for changes
that might mean nothing
or the start of full-blown
positive indicators
yellowed veins
blemishes, curling

After Work

In every garden
I see discreet viral armies
striped tulips
yellowed leaves
a cellular march
without enemies.