blackmail press 32
Reihana Robinson
New Zealand

Moka's Utu - Penny Howard
Reihana Robinson has been published in USA and Pacific. Her work explores social and environmental issues. Artist, writer, organic farmer. Auckland University Press published her collected poems as part of AUP New Poets 3, 2008. Poems and stories have appeared in Landfall, Takahe, Melusine, Cutthroat, Enamel,Trout, Hawaii Review and anthologies including Te ao marama contemporary Maori writing. She was the inaugural recipient of Te Atairangi Kaahu award for poetry.

      If you poison us do we not die?

       What will be the revenge of the possums?
       Doctrines run deep as the rivers -
       You die and you die and you die,
       Little possum with your brown, brown eyes,
       Pleated toe nails and round wee thumb.

       Revenge is riding a flame red tree.
       The heated planet will expire under our noses.
       While we have our sights on your desperate end,
       we won’t even notice how little the water,
       how parched the child -
       our eyes glued to the wrong horizon.
       And when we do turn from you
       and your four small feet,
       we will discover our own two legs
       unable to run, homes
       destroyed, laboratories burning.

(for N Chomsky May 2010)

       Boulders roll round and round
       in the blinding surf
       banging about like dinner plates
       washed up in the sink.
       They won’t let him into the West Bank -
       further east than middle earth
       where everywhere is east and middle
       and stars jabber as if confetti.

       Defiant in a Time of Plenty
       The phoebe has not returned this year.
       After seven summers her nesting place remains bare.

       On the news a boy aged 14 does not return home,
       Has two bullet wounds to his chest,
       Is frequent flyer-ed from cell to cell/sleep deprived
       Just fourteen summers on land and he weeps.

       To defy gravity -
       If a boy could draw a phoebe on his cell wall
       And sketch his own basket of dreams,
       He may wing through prison bars and like the phoebe
       After seven summers never return.

       It Starts with an E

       How I love you
       How I love you
       You turn your face away
       How I love you
       You turn away
       A girl walks by
       You turn to see
       She has long brown legs
       She has long brown hair
       Her green eyes laugh
       And still I send out love
       It floats around your head
       I lie alone
       Anything is possible
       And here I am
       The worst I can be
       I cannot feel the breeze
       Just monster sounds come out
       I am capable of murder
       Even though I am a mother
       And do not support the war
       You creep your fingers up her skirt
       I look the other way

       You Offer a Counsel of Despair

       All she wanted was a glimmer of hope,
       instead she was shoved into purgatory,
       happy at last to adopt and run -
       curtains close on a rotting mattress,
       baby left in the dark
       and a stranded pock marked sailor,
       re-located by the CIA
       talking sugar cane and Australia.

       Fingers crossed he will inherit Samoa.
       Yes the other was gay but he paid his way.
       -But the rules dear,
       no hats,
       no eating aloud.

       You left to crawl,
       That last mountain pass.
       No happy families -
       a sleeping puzzle.
       Why did she tell the story of the lost condom?
       Suffering cruising around in her skull
       intensified now by counsel with no heart.
       She receives a free ticket with a seat
       adjacent to the inferno.