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Photography: Sarah Reed
Catherine Kelsey

Catherine Kelsey is a secondary school teacher (English Literature). She is English but now lives and works in New Zealand. She has 3 small children. Catherine started reading and writing poetry as a mother, to see how language worked. She wanted to express the way she saw things, both as a woman and a human being - about the complexities of the passions we feel and the tensions – brutality and love. She wrote memoire after separating from her husband. She was reading Raimbeau at the time – a French Poet who dwells on the erotic in unusual ways.

Earth breathes. Bounces jewelled beads
Upon star-shaped ferns, massed verdigris.
Shimmering mermaid-like
She clasps her tail; scarlet dragonfly settles
On her toes – envies a mosaic
Blue-bottled bushes; ochreous marigolds,
Pohutakawas summer dressed; blushing
Rubescent flowers, sanguine flesh
under ‘a heat-wrung sky’.

Embalmed. The old school bus
A shrine of floral fantasy kindles,
A marquetry of erotogenic ardour;
His and hers, chiselled together;
Pillowed on Japanese cushions, in which moonlit rivers
Unending flow and peonies, rich mature
Bend their imagination;
Silently folding into each other,
limbs intertwined – the linden and  old oak.
Sleeping child stirs, murmurs.

Rain falls. Like Chinese Whispers;
Soft-noted requiem
Treads, disturbing harmony
On the battered tin roof
Spectostropic green light flickers,
As delirious pink skin whispers close
Glistening under light-fingered breeze’s caress
Fools call lust.

Pale fire; iridescent
clings to fluted bark
Tortured trees, crucified against the stem
Of the hill, madly erotic
The black horse leaps
Dances, plummets, plunges,
Brutally consumes floral ardour;
Moonbells leaping; peeling with laughter

Outside; a pig crunching.

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