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).
Of Ngati Kahungunu and Irish-English-Scots ancestry, Renée was our New Zealand writer in 2005 and spent her winter working on the first draft of a new play. Since the residency, she’s written a play, Shall We Gather at the River, two e-novels, Too Many Cooks and Once Bitten, and is currently working on the third in the trilogy of novels about characters who live on Vogel Place, Porohiwi, No Good Crying. In August 2013, Renée was presented with a Kingi Ihaka award for contributions to literature and theatre and to teaching and mentoring. Her website WednesdayBusk features chapters from her e-books, poems and interviews.
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
you married a widower twice your age, two children
to head the twelve you had, and two who lie in beds
of quiet in the houses of the dead
behind the line of your mouth red slippers
dance under embroidered skirts, purple satin shawls
tease violins and somewhere a silver flute signals
platters of pomegranates, pears, their pale juices
lush on another’s lips – blue birds play with bees
leopards offer sweetmeats, pour wine in glasses
sunflowers turn their heads and bow as you stride
into high floating air – you climb that steep slope
stand arm raised: but here in the black wooden frame
you pose – behind you a trellis fence, beyond that the tree
under which you were born and where that line began
to carve itself into the newborn pink of your mouth.
First published on Renée’s WednesdayBusk.