blackmail press 21
Bernard Gadd
New Zealand

crossed cultures - special issue
Jing Li at Junior School Assembly

she'll give
the mihi
to everyone here
It's quite long
but she knows it all
by heart

and how her Grandma
will smile to hear
Cantonese too

Two tanka

cold sea wind
in your hair
but shorts, t-shirt, feet bare
yes you're back
in your own Manilla

in your nun's robe
are you staring through sea mist
at where the moon
might in its fresh
transformation be?

Yum char

no no none of those things
they keep showing in baskets,
aren't there menus? I can't
use chop sticks. that's really
a chicken's foot? those
three plates of custard tarts
please,  not on the lazy susan,
in front of me for my meal.
what's in the tanks by the wall?
lobsters and fish? I can't
bear to look! where's the Earl Grey?
or the milk? why's it so noisy?

Bernard Gadd is a retired high school teacher. He was in the forefront in the 1970s in advocating and demonstrating a multi- and bi - cultural approach to teaching, including editing several anthologies of NZ and Pacific literature for schools. Some of his poetry is inspired by his Birmingham forebears. The most recent collection of his poetry is "End of the snapshots" 2007.
Featured Artist Fiona Holding