LOVE POEM FOR A WAR
She carried the war
around with her everywhere.
When she walked under the feijoa trees
the war brushed lightly against their leaves.
She had been a young teacher.
Jews hid in her family’s barn.
When a man came and married her
the children asked
‘Why are you stealing our teacher?’
She tells this story
with wet eye corners
a laugh between her lips.
LOVE POEM FOR
A LEMON TREE
I have never tasted your lemons.
I have watched them from green to yellow.
I caught three boys filling plastic bags
with fruit for ammo
and told them to go away.
The nuns want to make marmalade.
But every year the tree gets stripped.
LOVE POEM FOR MARK
Mark follow your heart.
Over seas to the girl
who hung all your doors.
A floating dream
is better than sinking awake.
It is time the great apes
reconsidered the trees.
A world of wood is waiting
in bins and garages.
To be fastened by nail to trunk.
To be three-sided.
To move in the muscle of the wind.
LOVE POEM FOR
To love a volcano is to love
shapes at dusk.
To love largeness.
It is a love seldom spoken of
but I have known men
to write furtively of sulphur dioxide
and utter words like ‘phreatomagmatic.’
Hands on pack straps.
Eyes into the craters.
Airini Beautrais’ first collection, Secret Heart, won the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Best First Book. She has a background in ecological science and is a secondary school teacher. She also played for several years in the folk/rock band The Raskolnikovs.
I am very excited to present this suite of poems from Airini Beautrais' forthcoming and much awaited second book Western Line due in March this year.
These poems are fresh and funny. Western Line has three entertaining sequences of very short poems: Love Poems, Charms and Curses, which are followed by a group of innovative longer poems that explore ideas of place and purpose with the deepened insight of early motherhood.
For more Tuesday Poems have a look on the hub.