blackmail press 28
Shirley Deuchrass                
New Zealand

Kitchen - Charles Olsen

I'm drowning
children push & pull
their way forward, parents
sneak out the door
without so much as a cheerio

I become interested in fragments
a sigh of an interruption
the minutiae of not-yet

It's no private trial
mine is the concern of the social
theme of our culture at large

Nerves are important
in the listening, the scrape of a knife
across a plate, the dumping of leftovers

We discuss it at length on a walk
along the beach where I drop
a ten dollar bill. The stranger
denies picking it up.

Waiheke War Tunnel

Cattle run beside us
their hooves a see-saw
of curiosity

the residue of gun-powder
on foundations, lichen
kissed rocks
in the gully

the sheep have influenza

we stare at voices
in the tunnel, put-off
by the grey-haired lady
on her fold-up chair

she tries to make war.

Central Otago Rail Trail

Iron was heated, hammered
kicked into tracks
by settlers wanting progress
decadent as Solomon's temple

we bought last forever sleepers
when Government policy
stopped the trains
they shape our garden borders

goldseekers from my mother's lively stories
are pulled from extinction
by the shovel, made
with bellows of common steel

our limbs provide energy now
along the old train line
past rose hip and schist
we gather

our own imagination
shadows rock, behind sack doors

& on polished black kettles

  we keep as ornaments