Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Poem: Of books and bookcases, by Kiri Piahana-Wong

Of books and bookcases

My boyfriend says that
the one new thing he's
learnt about me since
we moved in together
is that I leave my
books lying around
all over the house.

It's true. I like to
be surrounded by
books, all their
different colours and
sizes, a wall of
words.

I tell him that the one
thing I've learnt about
him is that, for a
cabinetmaker, he
doesn't own much
furniture.

I remind him of how
he won my heart by
promising to build me
bookcases for all my
books. He just
smiles, arranging the
books in towering
piles against the
wall.

- Kiri Piahana-Wong

Kiri Piahana-Wong is a New Zealander of Maori, Chinese and Pakeha ancestry. She has degrees in law and English literature from the University of Auckland, and has had a varied working life, including roles as a legal editor, sailing instructor, freelance writer, event manager and publisher.

Her book night swimming , published by Anahera Press, was recently launched in Auckland. My thanks to Kiri for permission to use Of books and bookcases as my Tuesday Poem this week. I chose it, not because it was necessarily the most representative of the book, but because it made me smile, and depicted a familiar problem - where to put all the books?

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site, along with all the other Tuesday poets listed in the sidebar there.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday Poem: Song of the Moth

Song of the Moth

Half the world is mute, or we are deaf to it.
What untranslated conversations are hidden from our ears?
Does the earthworm croon subterranean loves songs
as it tops and tails with its hermaphrodite mate?
What does the butterfly hear
through its beautiful delicate knees?
The column of ants marches without music
while silverfish, reducing paper to lacy fragments
consume words but have none of their own.

Sailing ships crossed the oceans where whales
sang arias, backed by a silent chorus.
The pioneers carried little. Tools broke,
clothes wore out. Our forebears with their meagre luggage
having to turn common things to uncommon uses
gathered bag moss cases, stiff and lichened,
to pluck the strings of their autoharps.
It was the only way they knew
to hear moths sing.

© Catherine Fitchett

Song of the Moth was published in Takahe 78 which came out last month. It was inspired by a bizarre piece of trivia that I encountered in a book on insects in the Mobil New Zealand Nature Series: the bag moth was "sometimes used by early settlers as a plectrum for playing the autoharp". I was looking for details for a different poem, but as soon as I saw this, I knew I had to use it somehow.

For more Tuesday Poems visit the main hub site.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

And the Winners Are...

Thanks to my daughter for finding random numbers for me.
When I have your addresses, a copy of "The Nature of Things: Poems from the New Zealand Landscape" will be heading to Ron Lewis

And a copy of "Flap: The Chook Book 2" goes to Susan Rich (and a big thanks to Susan for hosting the giveaway this year, so it seemed especially appropriate to draw her name)