Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Temptation


The rind falls on the bench top
in the shape of her initial.
He slices the fruit in thin segments
with hands stippled and pleated by age.

He arranges its slices on a porcelain plate.
Carries it in shaking hands
to where she sits deep in a chair,
shrunken in its arms, propped on pillows.

Once he courted her with apples.
This pear softer and kinder
to aged gums. He feeds her
slice by slice. She sucks the sweetness.

A trickle of juice runs down her chin.
Winter will come soon enough.
He is feeding her the sun.


The Canterbury Poets Collective finished their spring series last week with an evening featuring the winners (by audience vote) of the open mic portion of the previous seven weeks' events. I was fortunate enough to be included. This is one of the poems I read. I always thought that if I had been Eve in the garden of Eden, I would have found pears much more tempting than apples, which are altogether too neat and well-behaved a fruit to be very seductive.

I entered this poem in the inaugural Poems in the Waiting Room competition and was pleased to be awarded third place. The next competition is now open. It's a worthy cause and worth support with your entry fees.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Poem Walking, by Helen Jacobs

Poem Walking

If you cannot sing the world
if the tune is too complex
and the reach too vast

perhaps a poem walking
from door to gate is for you
a small parcel of contents

you can tick: nandina, potato vine,
weeds, letter box and constant cars.
Not an extensive list.

Bring in the blue and white of overhead
and a red helicopter. Now you have it,
your world written down, wrapped up.

But walk further
to the living street of springs
a pavement of design beside bush and flax

to the park and pond
where voices are heard, boys are playing.
they hope for fish.

You have pushed out the perimeter.
You have walked into the smallest part
of the larger sound, the Big Band.

You imagine playing the music of oceans
of river runs, mega-city percussion.
Your poem has come out

from behind the fence.

- Helen Jacobs


We have had a wealth of poetry events in Christchurch lately, among them the launch of Helen Jacobs' new book, "Dried Figs", published by Sudden Valley Press. This is Helen's sixth poetry collection and as it says on the back of the cover, as she is now in her eighty-fourth year another book cannot be guaranteed.

Helen is an acute observer of her immediate surroundings. As the poems in this collection vividly express, one's horizons perhaps narrow somewhat with increasing age - but she makes a good deal out of such every day subject matter. I felt the poem above expresses this rather beautifully.

The poem was first published in the New Zealand Poetry Society collection "Across the Fingerboards" in 2010. Photos of the book launch and information on how to order Dried Figs can be found on Helen's website.

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site>