Friday, February 12, 2010

Reading Janet Frame


Where the first pear slug hasn’t won,
the first frost has. Gaunt
the hawthorn’s lichened boughs
rise to cloudless skies and
for once no mower clamours loud.
Day? It’s a cracker. Just right
for worship, celebration, carousel
and the planting of jonquils.

Reading Janet’s poems…
the pocket mirror shows jaw
and bone under a Sunday stubble.
Next spring the bare hedge will bloom again;
but at present all too clear is its gaunt frame.

I must have been in a grumpy mood yesterday. Poor, old Maurice Gee really copped a bucketful. Still, it’s how I felt at the time. This poem, written years ago in Hamilton, reflects such a mood. I’d been reading Janet Frame’s book of poems, ‘The Pocket Mirror’.

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