Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Winter Incident, by Jan Hutchison

Winter incident

A man and a woman
trudge towards the estuary.

Snow falls.
Reeds are bare in the wind.

Silence sinks below the fabric
of their overcoats.
Thoughts are in pocket linings.

They pass a caravan on the verge
then skirt an upturned bucket
with cast-off peelings.

From out of the gloom and scrub
a pukeko struts up to them
as if it were asking a question.

It flicks its tail up and down
stretches its long neck forward
flutters white under-feathers.

Afterwards, either the man or the woman
will remember the pukeko
with wings folded to its body
remember the bird running to the marshes.

The other will remember half-moon
turnip peelings.

"Winter Incident" appears in The Happiness of Rain, Jan Hutchison's new book from Steele Roberts. I was fortunate to attend Jan's book launch last week, a very pleasurable and well-attended celebration. It was difficult for me to choose a poem from the book as there are so many that I enjoyed, with their finely observed detail, particularly of the natural world - though, as can be seen in this poem, people also make frequent appearances.

Thanks to Jan for permission to publish her poem here. She sent me the following rather brief and modest bio:
Jan Hutchison lives in Christchurch.
Her work appears in a variety of publications, including Quadrant, Australia and on-line Snorkel. She came first in the Takahe
International Poetry Competition for 2011. The Happiness of Rain is her third collection.

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

1 comment:

Helen Lowe said...

It's a great collection, isn't it? And nice to be having a launch or two again, here in Christchurch. :)