The Randell Cottage Writers Trust is marking National Poetry Day (22 August 2014) with our own online poetry festival, a series of poems by Randell Cottage poets (a term encompassing our residents, trustees and committee members).
Mary McCallum is a publisher, poet and author. Her children’s novel Dappled Annie and the Tigrish (Gecko) was published in new Zealand in February 2014 and will be released in the United Kingdom and United States in Autumn 2014. Her first novel, The Blue (Penguin 2007), won two Montana NZ Book Awards (Best First Book of Prose & Readers’ Choice) and she is currently working on a second novel. Mary has also been a long-serving chair of the Friends of the Randell Cottage.
Four Poets, Randell Cottage, 2009 – Mary McCallum
I walk in on them, four poets eating scones, plates
balanced on their laps, cups in hand, caught like
teapots in a cupboard. That room, once the singing
room, once a bedroom for spinster sisters, built
in a time of family bibles and blue-glass bottles. Now
there’s a bar heater, laptop, plate of softening butter,
and poets of some standing, sitting at odd angles,
protruding an elbow – an ankle – a knee, swallowing
cooling tea, handing out words with silver tongs.
Kirsty and Fiona, Vincent, Christopher Reid – eyes
shifting from the blocked fireplace, to the blank
ceiling, not one letting on that the air is constricted, that
they’re the wrong sized dolls for this doll’s house, that
the chimney creaks. Do they know or do they guess?
In the quiet cavity above, a child’s clothes were found.