It's National Poetry Day and I am at Rona Books in Eastbourne selling books. No poetry yet but I live in hope. Someone called Jill just showed interest in Vincent O'Sullivan's Futher Convictions Pending but had to dash off to the doctor.
I have put Jenny Bornholdt's The Rocky Shore at the centre of the poetry display now because I see she's won the Montana NZ Poetry Award this year - it's always announced on Poetry Day. Congratulations Jenny. And to Sam Sampson who won the novice award.
Interestingly, Jill the Customer and I were pouring over The Rocky Shore earlier not knowing Jenny had won. Jill has a copy she got for Christmas and we were talking about the lovely way Jenny Bornholdt writes of gardens and yet - by her own admission - has a garden that languishes. In one poem, a newspaper photographer comes to capture the garden on film for an article, and all he can say is 'Jesus.'
And here's a poem I have to share. Tim Upperton wrote it. Like me, he's a tutor at Massey University, and he launches his first collection of poetry A House on Fire at the Palmerston North City Library at 7 tonight [all welcome]. Tim's poems are tender things - rich in language and finely observed quotidian detail - much like a Jenny Bornholdt. This villanelle is a little different from other poems of Tim's I've read ...
The drill’s bright bit, its tip, its jewel
by Tim Upperton
In a lane as straight as a child’s rule,
as twilight falls, not dark, not quite,
I swim another lap of the pool.
The water encloses me, comfortably cool.
The attendant passes, flicks on a light.
In a lane as straight as a child’s rule
The rest here.