Je ne parle pas français



In the light you were kiss coloured
and you smelled of dog daisies
bitter sweet.
Puppies of cloud tumbled
into the carriage.

In the dusk you were softened
to tabby, your edges fluffy.
You mixed me into the air.
Through the bright window
the sky purred.

In the dark your edges
sharpened, hard bird
with lightning beak:
the moon cut you out of the black.


Rachel McAlpine

(Title is same as the short story by Katherine Mansfield that inspired this poem.)

Love song


Your forehead
is the curve
of the world.

Through your eyes
I slide
into a jungle

a tangle
of flying vines
of blood feasts

of jagged cries
of silent
silken steps.

Your blood has the beat of the sea.
It pulls to the pulse of the moon.

If I die
before I lie
with you

rocks will rain
from heaven
on my grave.


Rachel McAlpine