For a bit of a change I’ve decided to show some of my favourite photographs, and some words to go with them – I hope you enjoy!
by Sylvia Plath
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s.The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.
A Country Shaped like a Butterfly’s Wing
Beneath this giant pohutukawa
the cares of the world seem to cease.
Concrete steps zigzag from the street to a sandy beach
where rusty boat sheds stand on stilts
and women whose bodies are shaped like gourds
walk miraculously into and out of the sea.
You talk but I only half listen…some minutes since
you left me at a bay where the sun like a sword
plunges between the horns of blue breakers.
Beneath this summer’s slow travelling clouds
I am reminded that we both have ancestors
who once upon a time sailed across the world’s biggest oceans.
In their webs of latitude and longitude
like fishermen flinging a net
they caught this solitary planet
floating in blue space like a chrysalis.
Thank you for bringing me here
where the roots of a pohutukawa
like handrails lead down a cliff –
where the flight of seagulls is as eternal as hunger is.
Perhaps we should be like those Persians
beneath a swaying branch with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine –
watch clouds like a caravan of camels sauntering across the horizon.
Should we stay here until the night has fallen into the sea –
in the morning council workers
would find the imprint of our bodies
close together on a quilt of leaves.
I talk but you only half listen
as we lie beneath this tree
through whose branches life is whispering.
Its roots run right through the spicy earth to Spain.
As we lie beneath blossoms tinged with Garcia Lorca’s blood
do you dream of a country shaped like a butterfly’s wing?
Bob Orr, Valparaiso (Auckland University Press, 2002)
Have a good one!