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Here’s a giraffe made from the words on my blog. 

and here’s a map of South America made from my poem Zot and the Axolotls.  Thanks Tagxedo.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, 1883

I always loved that “huddled masses” bit. “The New Colossus” is the sonnet engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty. 


Only three
of us are still here
We have no words in
common — for living,
drowning, not even

The sandspit
went first, breaking up
palm trees, coconuts
thatched roofs and babies
bobbed alongside man-
grove pods

Vapour trails
melt into long clouds
Their crisp beginnings
chatter coordinates
to stars with no words
for us

I’m delighted to be posting this poem, from Mary Cresswell’s new collection, Trace Fossils, published by Steele Roberts.   The manuscript of Trace Fossils was chosen by Fleur Adcock as first runner-up for the University of Otago’s inaugural Kathleen Grattan Award.  

The poems are organised in 4 sections: The age of trees, Changing sea levels, Cloud and The age of salt.  It’s a great book, full of vivid images and wordplay, with interesting use of formal structures – the poem above is in counted syllables, each stanza following the same syllabic pattern. 

In her introduction to the book, Mary explains that “A trace fossil is visible fossil evidence – a footprint, trail, burrow, track or other impression – of the life activities of an animal, plant or other natural force.”

Mary Cresswell is a poet and science editor, who lives on the Kapiti Coast.  She was born in Los Angeles and moved to New Zealand in 1970.  Her poetry has appeared in New Zealand, Australian, Canadian, US and UK literary journals.  She is co-author of Millionaire’s Shortbread (University of Otago, 2003) and author of the satirical collection Nearest and Dearest (Steele Roberts, 2009).   I interviewed Mary on this blog , as part of her virtual book tour, when Nearest and Dearest was released.  See also Tim Jones’ interview with Mary.



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Tuesday Poem

Tuesday Poem


June 2011

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