Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Love Poems by Airini Beautrais

from Book 1: Love Poems in Western Line (VUP 2011)


Val, lately you are resplendent
in your ideology.
I see you cycling across an intersection
with an orange basket
the sun bright on your hair.
Val, lately you wear black
a lot and laugh through your nose.
Words march out of your mouth
in tight formation.


Your tummy hangs out of hot-pants.
A new freedom propels
you around the room.
May you be lucky tonight.
May you be happy tomorrow.
May your tummy rest
in the small of a beautiful back.


Pete said 'I love felt-tip pens.
I want to marry a felt-tip pen.'
And then there was a smudgy drawing
of him beside his smiling bride.

When I first posted an Airini poem I said her poems had 'enchantment' - and I believe her new collection Western Line (VUP) holds true to this. Her poems enchant because they are enchantments, and curses and love poems and prayers and fables and fairytales....  I kid you not. This is a book packed with people Airini has blessed and cursed and written a fairytale about.

Look here we have Val and 'a queer boy' and Peter who loves 'felt-tips' - each one resplendent in their own way. There are many more of these short love poems - as I'm writing this, I see that Helen Heath posted some of them a couple of months back as part of Tuesday Poem.  Funny how we both fell on the love poems.

Airini's poetry breathes as she breathes:  a woman who watches the world up close and loves the 'queer' people she sees in it and their queer little ways (even as she's cursing them.) Who else could write with love about a tummy hanging out of hot-pants and give it a future tucked into a beautiful back? There is a series of poems called 'Travelling with Us' at the end of the book about people seen on a Wellington train  - but I'll save one of those for another day.

Here's a link to another post from me on my friend Airini and the poems in her award-winning first collection Secret Heart. She really is one out of the box.

For more Tuesday Poems click on the quill in the sidebar here or click THIS. 


Jennifer Compton said...

such charm

Helen Heath said...

Oh yes! Lovely :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary. erm.. I think I meant 'queer' in the non heterosexual sense. Gee, hope I haven't offended anyone... Airini

Mary McCallum said...

Thanks Jen and Helen. And Airini - I reckon 'queer' can work both ways in the poem. I like it as a word and I always think of that English saying 'there's nought so queer as folk.' Thanks for your lovely poems.

Helen Rickerby said...

Totally coincidentally I read the love poem section in Western Line just this very morning! (The book was a birthday present, which I'd been just about to buy anyway.) I really enjoyed them - I loved how they are love poems to such a wide variety of things, with such a wide variety of loves. They felt really refreshing. I'm looking forward to finishing the book. (And I think I might know the aforementioned Val.)

Claire Beynon said...

Love in many dimensions. . . enchanting eyes on the world and its subjects. I esp. love the poem for the felt-tip pen. Thanks Airini and Mary ; )