blackmail press 21
Jacqueline Crompton Ottaway
New Zealand

crossed cultures - special issue

By night Suiliana plaits mats into prayers
weaves wools of yellow, green & scarlet
arranges constellations of red feathers
prays for the living
and invites visions from the dead

During the day, Suiliana smiles at the palagi
she strokes his arm
leads him to the sacred tree on the  hill
shows him surf that crashes in endless lament
pulls him beneath icy waters
to the drunken night of an underground cave

We travel to a parallel island

where iron bars
encase shop windows
glow worms wink

in defiance lights smash
while vacant sockets stare
on Sunday women lay quilts

on graves drape fences with purple
sashes parade death
as a royal occasion


Weave down the Alps                                                  
read the monument
discover a jeep in the fields
a tower that crumbles
wind up the stairs
look across the river
see the pink & brown houses smile

Featured Artist Fiona Holding
Jacqueline Crompton Ottaway has had poems and children’s stories published in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark and China. She enjoys travels to other worlds and, even when at home in New Zealand, discovers the extra-ordinary in her everyday surroundings.