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In the garden of cats
the deserted lover
learns to purr again
& threads the sun around her neck
in a garland of golden oyster shells.

Violets grow quietly
dragonflies come to call
she smells lavender
listens to the sea.

Inside her shut shell
the deserted lover makes pearls
from the gritty bits.

Thinks: If I were a cat
I’d live off parakeets
& keep my love.

Paekakariki Township & Beach, from Paekakariki...

This is an old poem I wrote years ago after I’d been house-sitting for my friends Anna-Marie and Mary-Jane in Paekakariki – “the ridge where the parakeets perch”.  It was summer and their cats and I spent a lot of time sitting about in the garden.

You can read the other Tuesday poems here.

Went to see “Deaf Jam” this evening (and no, I don’t mean Def Jam), a documentary about a young Israeli woman, Aneta Brodski.  Aneta is deaf, lives in New York and makes poetry with American Sign Language.   Worth catching (if you’re in Wellington that is – more about the Documentary Film Festival here).  Seeing poetry performed as a visual language was very cool – all about making shapes and stories with your hands.  The film also shows her writing and performing in collaboration with a hearing Palestinian poet Tahani Salah.  Well worth getting along to (2 more shows in Wellies).  Local poets entertained us with a live reading  beforehand.

There are two other poetry-themed films in the festival: “We are Poets“, about young slam poets from Leeds in the UK who compete in the international slam poetry competition in the US, and “Lemon” about Lemon Anderson, a poet, actor and ex-con who grew up in New York, and was over here for the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival recently.

In lieu of a Tuesday poem, here’s a link to Aneta Brodsky and Tahani Salah performing.


Roses, Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


You love the roses – so do I.  I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!


George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)


George Eliot


George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) was born in Warwickshire in England in 1819 and died in 1880.  She was  one of the leading writers of the Victorian era, well know as the author of seven novels (including The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner and Middlemarch) but less well known for her poetry.  She was also an editor and translator.

Her personal life was scandalous for the time.  She had a twenty year relationship with  George Henry Lewes, who was in an open marriage with another woman, and she later married a man twenty years her junior.  The marriage lasted only a few months before her death.

You can watch a strange animation of  her reading the poem on youtube.  Here is the link to the other Tuesday poems.

Spent a lovely weekend in Foxton (many thanks to the Beatsons) with the poetry group I belong to.   The only downside was the early morning duck-shooters, but the spoonbills made up for it.

Sam Manzanza, who will be playing at the Metro on Sunday

Couldn’t manage to upload the photos when I posted the notice about this event, so here they are now.

This is me. I will be the guest poet.

Those details again:

7 Lydney Place – Porirua

Sunday 6th May 4 – 6pm

Music, poetry, Open mic.



Janis on Twitter

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Tuesday Poem

Tuesday Poem


May 2012

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