blackmail press 35
Kay Luff
New Zealand

Taipari O Maraea - Penny Howard
I have had two poems published in The Christchurch Press. a sonnet titled 'Tightrope Walker' and more recently 'Sternpost' about post-earthquake Shag Rock. I won the Catalyst Flash Fiction competition in 2012 with a story entitled 'A Walk in the Rain.' I am currently in my second year as a student in the Hagley Writers' Institute. My major work is a young adult novel called 'Sound Reason'. Watch this space.

sticks a thin straw between her teeth, shoves
hands into pockets as deep as muddy puddles,
follows the windy farm track,
leaps from one large footprint to the next.

twists wire with gnarled fingers, his
steely eyes stare down the sheep dog.

mimics her grandpa’s limp,
mirrors his mop of wild curls,
those hazel eyes.

Poppa lobs hay bales
as high as a southerly gale,
stores his dreams in a water tank
worries Grace will thaw his icy heart.

Kept Inside

for years he lifted
heavy objects, carried
his child’s future

loose-fit clothes
that are not his
centre-pressed, clean

slipper on one foot
a shoe on the other
feet without socks

unkempt, his comb
sits on the bedside

his physical frame
structures an internal struggle.

Nothing Wasted

He mirrors the colour
in his grandson’s eyes,
is that certain memory
of a summer picnic.

He captures a nod and
wink in the gilt edged
photo frame.

His familiar sayings
written in the dust
on Nana’s piano.