Friday, July 30, 2010

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day in New Zealand. It's also Friday, and the end of a busy working week, and I'm feeling rather tired.

In the US they get a National Poetry Month. That seems much more civilised to me. Even a week would be good. I never seem to get to any Poetry Day events, since the main one in Christchurch always takes place at lunch time, at the university, where, if I did manage to slip away from work for an hour, there is never any spare car parking.

There is also Poetry for Pudding, at Borders Bookshop, but that is a purely "bring your own" event, no guest readers, and I'm just too tired to make the effort to go and hear the same people I hear at every open mic night.

But I couldn't let the day go past without at least posting a poem here. I offer this in honour of my day spent sitting at a computer. I had the line "the city is a spreadsheet" in the back of my mind for quite a long time before coming up with this poem. It will appear in "Flap: The Chook Book 2" which will be launched by my small poetry group, the Poetry Chooks, on October 16th. It first appeared at Blackmail Press in their Secrets issue.

Gridlines

The city is a spreadsheet
laid on the plains block upon block.
There are some in their airless offices
who affect nothing.
Don’t count on it.

In the hidden mathematics of the city
there are unexpected connections.
You might add a small number
at a crucial junction
and buses run late all over town.
Hum a tune and you might see
a single bird fly over,
or dancing break out in the streets.

And watch that girl with the blue hair,
when she enters the equation,
how it changes everything.

1 comment:

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

I'm glad that poem is going in the book - it's a great poem, I like it very much. It has your patient style with that dash of colour - or bite in the tail.