Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The feijoas are falling from the trees by Louise Wallace

The feijoas are falling from the trees –
a fresh bag-load every day.

Winter is on its way.
I am in the kitchen
shucking feijoas like oysters –
filling ice-cream containers to freeze.

Won't it be nice to eat them in July?
Rory is a good man, who hates feijoas.

I see a strong gust outside
and I imagine the sound of a feijoa falling.
Crashing into branches on its way down,
waiting to be plucked
from the leaves and soil.

Winter is on its way.
I try to think of how I could earn
more money; work harder, get ahead.
There is never enough
and it would be nice to get ahead.

I write a list of all the things
I need to make –
stewed feijoas, feijoa crumble –
another gust; feijoa cake. 


Louise says this poem is a clear favourite at readings she's given from her second collection Enough (VUP). It certainly scored high at a reading I was part of at Petone library recently. She was one of three 'young and hungry writers' appearing there – the others were Caolinn Hughes (VUP) and Stefanie Lash (one of my authors at Mākaro Press).

There's something about feijoas. I should know - I once posted a feijoa chutney recipe on this blog and it was a favourite post for months and months.  This poem of Louise's nails the business of having a feijoa tree in your life: from the excess to all the recipes ... no chutney, however...

Louise's poems walk with light feet, but carry so much. She thinks they're not all that interesting, but she's wrong. There's something beguiling about them that I can't quite explain. It's the Jenny Bornholdt effect – an honesty and quickness and quirkiness – and always the sideways glance at the place where vulnerability lies.

I'm talking about Louise and Enough on National Radio this afternoon with Simon Mercep - 1.30 pm.

Posted here with the poet's permission. Do check out the Tuesday Poem hub and a wonderful poem by Riemke Ensing about KM. A treat.