Old poems, never more relevant than today #MeToo Who’s Who?
does the honourable Member remember a night
when he wanted to lie outside?
he was drunk of course but still
sometimes I enter a hole in my
belly head first
does he remember the time before I slipped
out of the second person the time
when any time was question time in the house?
we are married but we live de facto
I am a habit and a fact I know
I am dull but I seem to be stuck
I am glad he has found the lady with purple carpets
the metropolitan lady who knows who is who
and who is nobody at all she
is never mentioned but I know
for every public man there is a lady
with purple carpets or a parade
I am sad for her lonely weekends
I would like to say I am not greedy
I have learned to share
he has filed her Tuesday to Thursday
I am Happy Weekend Wife
Backbone of the Nation
voice in the belly has no bones
did I say that already?
I know I am dull
Rachel McAlpine (1978)
This is the second poem from an old sequence, Sheila and the Honourable Member. They are totally relevant in the era of #MeToo. I wish that wasn’t true.
The first poem is THIS IS ME, SHEILA, TALKING
first on this much-married morning
I saw a star in a cradle of cloud—
it didn’t last.
either the star jumped
out of the cradle
or the cradle ejected the star
rachel mcalpine cc by 2.0
Early morning, Wellington winter
Like my poems? See
WriteIntoLife on Fridays for others. And thanks for visiting!
Wellington harbour in autumn
Sometimes the beauty
of my home world
is too big to bear
All my life this planet has been a people playground. Starting from scratch, who could have imagined a home town as perfect as this?
Rachel McAlpine CC BY 2.0
A remarkable shadow of who knows what?
Sometimes only a shadow
shows the loveliness
of the thing
Glimpse the glory of recycling
A Toi or New Zealand mountain cabbage tree, flaunting its glorious shadow
Rachel McAlpine CC BY 2.0
Sisters Jill, Deirdre and Rachel Taylor with dolls on the steps of the Akaroa Vicarage around 1945. Not grown-up yet.
I am writing a book.
It will take some time.
The book has a title: Flatlantisand another:
The poems will grow like pack-ice.
They will flow like sweat.
They will be easy to read.
They will be hard to write.
When the book is published
I will be a grown-up.
How will that feel?
here we are who we are
shadows on foam
littoral lateral between the sea
and feathery reality
skidding and sliding
here not here nor there
dots in a layer
of water on sand
maybe a simile
no, this is literal
us as the foam
in the shade on the sea
Who am I? Who are you? How do you know? Sometimes I lose myself in a strange space, and I enjoy those moments of anonymity. Do you? The poem (like many on this blog) is a first draft and will no doubt change and change again: in this case, so appropriately.
Poem and photo cc by 2.00 Rachel McAlpine as usual—i.e. feel free to share.
inside the gloaming
all shadows flatten
and all pleats are blue
in the pleating, all shadows
are deep and deliberate
and weaving is tender and true
on the twilight horizon
all trees are pointing to heaven
and textured for Earth and for you
how rich is our planet
how pleated, how woven
and in the gloaming, how blue