All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens Reprinted / First Light

All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens, my poetry collection published in 2007, has been reprinted: a small reprint, but still, it’s good to be in a position to do so.

In case you’ve yet to sample its delights, you can:

Here’s “First Light””, a poem from All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens. I planned to read it in Christchurch a couple of weeks ago, but, to Joanna Preston’s disappointment, ran out of time. Until I make an audio file of it, this print version is the best I can do.

First Light

First light on the new sea. Cows
crop hilltops turned islands.
Small boats sound the fathoms
over the family farm.

On sudden shores, survivors
gather to click and point. There’s Aunt Edna.
There’s her house, three china ducks
riding the morning tide.

Sky blue, smell
briny. Somewhere down there, graveyards,
urupa. The divisions, ancestral, cadastral,
that put a human stamp on land.

Aid is coming. Helicopters,
news crews, interviews and articles.
Grief and condescension. Coat,
blanket, a fusilade of cans.

Fog on devastation. Sudden eddies.
The drowned turbines of Te Apiti
blades still turning
mine the new and liquid wind.

3 thoughts on “All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens Reprinted / First Light

  1. Fantastic! Well deserved.And thank you for printing \”First Light\” – yes, my favourite poem in the collection.

  2. Congratulations! I\’m glad you got your reprint sorted out. My Iron Spine is also being reprinted as we speak (actually, that\’s a lie, I\’m sure the printers have gone home by now).

  3. Thanks, Joanna and Helen. Helen, your comment afforded me a momentary flash of a University printery, deserted, the printers long ago gone home – yet still the presses roll, with no living hand to guide them, working through the night to get your reprint finished, then falling silent as the last copy is collated and, outside, the birds begin to sing …I have probably read too many Stephen King books. Especially his short story about the haunted laundry press.

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