From Renée's garden

I invited some friends to share their poems.

  • Poems (3)

    Why you write.... Poetry pips ... Somewhere a poet...
    Rachel McAlpine Read it… 

  • Coffee Time

    Janette’s getting married in five years.
    She says it in my kitchen, palms cupped
    warm round the blue-rimmed mug I bought last . ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • Serenade for Sappho

    wish I could sing you lady ...
    Rachel McAlpine Read it… 

  • Tread slow

    Tread slow around the old house
    let the bones of this moment stir, set ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Anarchy Rules OK

    Ah / Shit / Ive done it ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • Some history from the tender country

    Waxy brown parcels tied with string
    are delivered and collected from the house ...
    Mary-Jane Duffy Read it… 

  • Epiphany

    It has been a pleasant evening
    sipped from fine-cut crystal
    tasted from gleaming silver ...
    Claire Matthewson Read it… 

  • The plot thickens…

    Gabriel
    Maine Coon Cats are (allegedly) cuddly
    but Gabriel missed that gene. He's a
    medium –size tiger in a cat's body, sly,
    cunning, thinks he's smarter than me.
    He might be right.
    Read it… 

  • Gum Tree

    It will have to go, they said,
    as if it could pack up its roots
    and move to another country ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • 5am

    Please,
    she whispers
    to the Universe. ...
    Naomi Taylor Read it… 

  • When the hat fits

    Here is my closed mouth smiley hat —
    comes in handy when shaking hands
    with strangers. ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • The Death Ride

    He's angry at the over-
ripe sun, the greedy way
she drinks it all in
    points out pedestrians
on drips, the children
with dengue fever ...
    Maggie Rainey-Smith Read it… 

  • Naomi comes to cook

    She brings the salad (green beans, red peppers, garlic
    pine nuts),we drink red wine, talk about how what is given—
    land, a heart, is forever, this year, next year, sometime, never ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • You are my dearest

    If Renee Vivian had written a sonnet to Natalie Barney
    Mry-Jane Duffy Read it… 

  • The Hoarder

    She hoards tools.
    She has screwdrivers,
    chisels, hammers, saws, ...
    Adrienne Jansen Read it… 

  • Our Mother, Sewing

    Our mother made all our clothes
    do you remember
    winceyette, sea island cotton, molleton ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • Small Talk

    ‘They’ll let you down’ she says. ‘If there’s one thing...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • Oh yes

    rivers bleed
    onyx seas
    weave
    secrets
    whisper songs
    Renée Read it… 

  • With the blackbirds

    Mountain, I sing that my place to stand is
    defined by your shadow and your rising
    is a natural boundary to my world. ...
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • When the Dao moves

    Coming back ...
    Chris L. Taylor Read it… 

  • Love in the Fifties

    She wore a second-hand, button-through frock covered in rosebuds ...
    Maggie Rainey-Smith Read it… 

  • A baby at six months

    Just before locomotion
    you are the fattest cherub
    on the tallest ceiling
    in the best basilica.
    Elizabeth Smither Read it… 

  • My mother looking at stars

    Each morning in the small hours
    my mother pads from bed and back ...
    Elizabeth Smither Read it… 

  • Your Name

    I wonder now I know your name
    whether it was that far-away sound
    always just beyond me, ...
    Richard Langston Read it… 

  • Sonnet

    'They'll let you down' she says. 'If there's one thing
    you'll find out it's that they don't care a jot.'
    I take another sip of gin. 'What?' ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • Palette

    My childhood is coloured cobalt, aquamarine,
    gamboge and vermilion framed in gold leaf.
    There are no family fights, rain that sheets down for days, ...
    Karen Peterson Butterworth Read it… 

  • From the South Pole

    At Antarctica
    dawn in middle night ...
    Robynanne Milford Read it… 

  • Jars

    Our mother would say,
    'The blessed thing is stuck,
    Richard Langston Read it… 

  • Rain

    Below me, cars do their morning run,
    ambulances practice scales, ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • On Being Horse

    Through our back gate five steaming horses
    wild and scary and thrilling. ..
    Patricia Donovan Read it… 

  • The Lemon Tree

    She remembers him waving
    He fixed the lemon tree with salt Read it… 

  • Clock Tower

    O Palmerston North Hopwood Clock Tower
    you have a new hat on ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • Wellington

    There's an attitude you need for living here.
    It's not resilience, although you might need that
    as well. No, it's a kind of defiance. ...
    Adrienne Jansen Read it… 

  • Sunday Morning

    On my front step
    sleepy-eyed
    the dazzle of early morning sun ...
    Miriam Richardson Read it… 

  • A short history

    You moved me along, the nausea passed, the native grasses at close quarters. ...
    Hinemoana Baker Read it… 

  • Dear Grandmother

    Husbands are a necessary part of the design
    God drew on his sketch pad, Sister Joseph tells you ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Insomnia

    He is detained in bed waiting for dawn to break, the shards of morning. Patrick lies far from the herd, an excommunicate from the underworld ...
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • Threads

    Take the threads of years
    Twist them round each other ...
    Sarah Delahunty Read it… 

  • Windows On My Mother

    Her hands hover over the fruit
    She picks up a pear, half turns ...
    Sarah Delahunty Read it… 

  • The Dance

    O how we dance, O how we dance
    round and round and round and round ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Box

    She wants to go out slanted
    with her feet in leaves.
    She looks through her stringy hair ...
    Adrienne Jansen Read it… 

  • Sunday in the Islands

    A rooster crowed – the villagers in their black dresses
    and tata, their black suits, white white shirts,
    the flower of their devotion. A pig ambled in the rain. ...
    Richard Langston Read it… 

  • The Revolutionary

    I have smashed the
    Concrete idols ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • A Marriage of Sorts

    There was a billionaire
    who appeared as a dazzling series of zeros.
    He placed coins on our tongues.
    Read it… 

  • Tall Woman in a Frame

    Your eyes are narrowed to keep out the intrusive sun
    your mouth a line closed against God, life, a stone
    caught in your sensible black shoe ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Little red car

    The petrol gauge is not working. The radiator
    leaks and when it’s removed looks like a harp
    an angel would trade in. ‘Two words, madam’ ...
    Elizabeth Smither Read it… 

  • Nobody Knows

    Chemotherapy is like killing the last predator
    in a bird sanctuary on a small island ...
    Karen Peterson Butterworth Read it… 

  • Estuary

    blue-grey, a silvering / of light and feathers / empty ...
    Hinemoana Baker and Christine White Read it… 

  • Genoise oh Chocolat

    melted the butter first, one hundred grams ...
    by Christopher L. Taylor Read it… 

  • Statuette

    My Asherah, I made a shrine for you in the old fire pit under the tree
    but I did not leave you. I wasn't sure how you would weather
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • Alice and the carrots

    We three advance across the uneven field
    to where Alice, the horse, with one white sock ...
    Elizabeth Smither Read it… 

  • What fresh hell is this?

    Storm leaves

    She met someone else
    tried to fight it
    couldn't Read it… 

  • Let’s say

    Let’s say that we are close to reaching 1 degree of global warming. Let’s say that, if we continue to use our present oil, ...
    Dinah Hawken Read it… 

  • bRING iT bACK, pUNK!

    measured by a ready wreckoner’s yard, so what?
    late for a wretched Wreckoner’s Ball, that’s all,
    wrote off in a wreckoner’s clammed-up claws, ...
    Chris L Taylor Read it… 

  • Dear Camera (after Ben Cauchi)

    You go unseen in every shot,
    a kestrel plummeting to the kill. ...
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • Lament for Mrs Webber

    Today, I almost picked up the phone to call...
    Rewa Morgan Read it… 

  • Song of a Stone Woman

    I am a lookout,
    a code breaker,
    a liar ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Cartography

    look up a map
    touch a morning
    see the rail track ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Medusa

    Snakes and a man in the sidewinding light
    between bumper and lamp-post, an instant
    of gorgon's delight as she turns his eye, ...
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • Bonefire on Kapiti Island

    The mainland is rendered down
    silvers and is gone. ...
    Lynn Davidson Read it… 

  • Cordelia

    I'm thinking now, I shouldn't have
    been so forthright. I should've
    simpered out my love like my ...
    Carol Markwell Read it… 

  • The Yellow Gingham Chair

    there's an apple core going brown
    by the books beside the empty glass
    of red wine, sediment like blood spilled ...
    Maggie Rainey-Smith Read it… 

  • Medusa

    Snakes and a man in the sidewinding light
    between bumper and lamp-post, an instant
    of gorgon’s delight as she turns his eye, ...
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • A Cortége of Daughters

    A quite ordinary funeral the corpse
    Unknown to the priest. The twety-third psalm
    The readings by serious businessmen ...
    Elizabeth Smither Read it… 

  • By a Window of Trees

    We do yoga together
    You stretch your arm carefully
    so as not to pull on your scar
    Sarah Delahunty Read it… 

  • Homeland

    The road continues on
    but here's where we turn
    Sarah Delahunuty Read it… 

  • Afterwards

    'Afterwards we got drenching summer rain / a
    blackbird hopped out onto the backyard / all chest &
    pluck / we stayed inside / watched the rain slant the ...
    Richard Langston Read it… 

  • Russell

    Russell is a pony-tailed man,
    bearded, grey, jacketed in leather.
    A Harley parked in the drive. ...
    Bill Nelson Read it… 

  • The Lesson

    I walk where embers hiss and sigh
    I hear the voices call of theft
    I see the bird rise in the sky ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Sydney

    On this aquamarine and citrus morning
    you don't deserve to look so glorious,
    but you do, you Dorian Grey of cities. ...
    Natasha Dennerstein Read it… 

  • Daughter of Eve Seeks Son of Lilith

    Once bitten you have lost ...
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • This Crazy Thing a Life

    As a direct result of all my reading, I make up ten rules to guide me in my own research. ...
    Lynn Jenner Read it… 

  • Lilith sings

    Once upon a time when the earth was blue
    and the cross turned over and the grey stars sighed
    I played Etta James and I thought of you
    Renée
    Read it… 

  • Benefit Cuts Poem

    1. Wear your old jeans. Wear the matted navy jumper that is too short in the arms, and yourt hair in jagged waves that might drop intrepid surfers. Your bones will be a metronome for time spent waiting. ...
    Tulia Thompson Read it… 

  • The knock…the cop calls

    The cop
    tall, dark, irksome
    notes the bottle... Read it… 

  • Storm

    If there was somewhere to be safe
    I would have found it long ago
    made up my fire and crouched there. ...
    Sarah Delahunty Read it… 

  • For the traveller

    The map, my friend, a mishmash of lines and cracks
    uncharted territory where rivers bleed onyx seas ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • The Wake

    We sit around the table pour
    another beer or wine
    Silent embroidered shawl ...
    Renée Read it… 

  • Times New Roman in 2175

    Darling, I will only do death ..
    Sandi Sartorelli Read it… 

  • Menopause (inspired by an essay by Ursula K. Le Guin ‘The Space Crone’ 1976)

    Ursula urges me to
    become a Crone
    to not bemoan
    my declining hormones Read it… 

  • Small Talk

    ‘They’ll let you down’ she says. ‘If there’s one thing

    you’ll learn it’s that they don’t care a jot.’

    I take another sip of gin. ‘What?’

    I say. She’s plump, the way some are, feeding

    on canapés and disappointment. ‘It

    was funny cigarettes first then the car,

    he never talks to me and that guitar’

    s the only time I hear him cry. He hit

    me once,’ she says, ‘Amanda’s gone and liv-

    ing with a black – what kind of girl is that?

    And Kenny never writes,’ she says, grown fat

    with hoarded hurts, ‘just takes the shirts I give.’

    ‘Perhaps you never really knew them,’ I say.

    ‘You’ll learn alright,’ she says and turns away.


    Carol Markwell