EJP 1954-2014

30 Sep

 

 

 

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The wax has hardened in strands on the table

like pale silk that once flowed through your fingers

becoming leaves or butterflies or waves

which might also be shells or towers, depending

on the twist of your thought. In the night I woke

and carried a candle back to my room

and in the shifting flicker saw a black

ribbon the glint of a stork’s beak a needle-

bristling strawberry. I remembered bluebells

beneath high trees in Otaki scattering

light like lace over the lawn. You leaned against

the painted post and said pansies were pensées

And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts. You taught me

how to look when I was twelve and brought them

to school. See their tiny faces. Later

in a dim room where Saskia or one

of Rembrandt’s women gazed impassively you

showed me how to love Bembo Bodoni

and Baskerville’s Q. See its tender tail.

In the secret chambers of your mind you

were always thinking – about colour form shape

how a shimmer of blue suggested silence

how the space between words was rupture and repair.

I pick hellebores and freesias – their heads fall

forward they spread their scent like balm because you

have slid away. Into the invisible.

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One Response to “EJP 1954-2014”

  1. barb austin October 3, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    just realised this is you Rina…the poem reminds me of my old teacher, and that I haven’t seen her for too long.

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