Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Adrift

Mad Mary sits beside
the Buller River
talking talking talking.

She’s lucid as a bird call -- 
She’s opaque as a bird call -- 

Down the river she
hunts the greenstone
she lost all those years

ago -- its pale green
horizons the dreams 
she can’t remember.

He gave it
she wore it 
she lost it 

like that. Adrift on the river,
the sun slapping her back.
Now her sleeves are pushed

to the elbow, her hands
bitter cold. The children
used to help

but they’re long since
gone. There’s only
her now, green water

and enough light for catching

The kahurangi, oh -- 
The kahurangi, oh -- 

The river, she says, 
it's sheltering stones.

                                            Mary McCallum

Kahurangi is a highly prized translucent greenstone or pounamu. In my experience, pounamu pendants are attracted to river water, they often end up back where they started, which is in part the trigger for this poem. Only in part.

Do check out the Tuesday Poem hub - I am editor this week and I've chosen a film of US poet Deborah Garrison reading four poems about New York linked to 9/11. 


Simon said...

Nice, Mary.

Kathleen Jones said...

Interesting Mary - it reads like a song!

Anonymous said...

Nice poem. Just wondering, do you mean "it's" sheltering stones as in "it is"...or do you mean "its"...?

Mary McCallum said...

Thanks Simon, Kathleen and Anon. I did mean 'it is' but 'its' is interesting... got me thinking...