How do poems happen? Juxtapositions create their own metaphors. Here’s an example from several years ago. I was staying with my mother in Ashburton and took her as usual to visit my brother’s deer farm near Mount Hutt. At the time I was reading Kapka Kassabova’s novel, ‘Love in the Land of Midas’. During the evening after the being on the farm this poem gestated in my mind. I’d been told about the stoats and the fact that Bruce had had to shoot a doe. Events coalesced, I made them first person, the poem appeared and needed very little further effort. Other poems can require considerable crafting.
Reading Kassabova On My Brother's Farm
Redpolls gather deer hairs
from the paddocks to line their nest
We are our own narrative, we neither
create the introduction nor the ending
That Balkan sadness
at the eternal slaughter
A doe is killing other doe's fawns
my brother has his rifle in his hands
Midas comes in many guises, as does love
that abruptly knots every nerve and blood-vessel
"She laughed for a fraction
of a second and velvet brushed his ear"
"We had bellbirds nesting here last year, but
a bloody stoat cleaned them out, I got the bastard though"
Off the Shelf
11 hours ago