Wednesday night with spoken words: it’s the monthly poetry gathering down at the Black Sheep Whakamarama tomorrow night from 6pm. You’re all welcome – let the alchemy occur!
“Up from the meadows rich with corn…..” was an integral part of my childhood just one of the poems or songs that my Mother constantly filled the house with – that an eclectic repertoire of piano music. My father was always scribbling away at something “on the table” – school work, stories, poems and memories. It’s inevitable that I would write.
Sharing your original work, what ever it is, is always daunting. It makes you feel vulnerable even in the company of fellow creatives. It’s something, in the end you just have to get over. Like taking that first childish-jump off the wharf.
The Black Sheep Bar & Grill on the Corner of Plummer’s Point Road and SH2 Whakamarama provides a warm and friendly atmosphere for you to jump-start your poetry sharing. There’s beautiful food to be bought, a glass of wine or…. We start at 6pm and are usually leaving as they are closing. Come along – you can read your own original words, the published words of a favourite poet or just listen.
Here are one or two poems I’ve written over more recent years. I wrote the first one after participating in the community road safety protest Wairoa Bridge walk in 2018 and totally disheartened by the on-going lack of realistic action in relation to State Highway 2-Tauranga West Road.
The Fat one has a yellow hat
They pretend to listen, draft plans and publish pamphlets.
Hold meetings and consult but they cannot lower the death
inducing speed limit.
They pretend to hear us when we gather and with antipodean
protest politeness express our fear and concern. The media
mention the noise and outrage. Minimal compared to tractor-firing
farmers of France.
It’s not even the death we fear – it’s the abyss of injury some will
never come back from. An edge that will immobilise, traumatise,
destroy their relationships and life – do you hear? do you care?
Who won’t live to Christmas?
Whose child will feel a shaft of grief?
It won’t be Wellington-living you.
we crinkle like paper bags
the small creases spoiling the smooth
perfection of our youth
Knives of pain penetrate our nighttime
joints as our fingers distort and bulge
The persecutors of our reality torture us
that we are no longer young
They scream into our constricting abilities
with more than malicious glee.
My friend pushes me hard against
the wall as he rushes past
You’re a witch with a pack of dogs
spits from his contorted face
The women in the courtroom
foyer are both surprised and
accepting of his violence
Together we have returned
his client to the cell of custody
we have thwarted bail
We have shown the reality to
the newly installed judge and
the lawyer didn’t like it
after all he is a man
and we are only women
Witches and dogs
There is no snow in South Auckland
She can feel their animosity and disgust
as it seeps out of the dark tinted window of
the Remuera-black SUV
She wonders how it comes to be sitting so still
in the middle of the Manurewa shops – another
motorway pile up or the Kingitanga on the move?
She repositions her backpack – too big and
heavy now for the old woman that she is and
continues slowly past the dollar shops their plastic
bright windows spilling out towards last night’s benches.
She no longer notices the dirt and the rubbish
she needs another place to sleep.
Last night she’d huddled in her temporary nest
under the decrepit back stairs of the house
opposite the cop shop – better than the Plunket deck –
no one could see her there and despite the careless cold she’d slept.
She’d slept secure that tonight she was unseen and
the big rubbish bin cut out the wind.
The thin and wrinkled face of the old currymuncher
woke her. She has difficulty associating the
Kiwi voice and the well cut hair with his curry-brown
skin. She can tell he’s frightened by her presence and
then he’s angry that she dares breathe his privately owned air.
He shouts her out as if chasing next door’s cat or dog
away from his hydrangeas.
With historic speed the Warehouse-blue tarpaulin is cast off.
She hurriedly rolls her bedding and shuffles up the drive leaving
the persistent mutterer and complainer to remove her cardboard bedbase.
The urge to piss overwhelms her – shame the curry caught her
before she had time to explore the space behind the big garage.
Not allowed in Maccas – it’s her smell they say puts the customers off their food.
She’s been trespassed from the shopping centre – not her fault she
forgot to take those palagi-pakeha pills. The Library doesn’t let
you sleep and you cannot sit upright with your eyes closed – they yell
into your face until you leave.
Methodical and rhythmically shuffling down the Great South Road
she goes towards the cold twilight of the park to out wait another day
remembering the Aitutaki-blue bright skies, the rockhard soil of Karaka,
the shouting and laughter of Otara teamwork as they pull and clip uniforms and school shoes.
Most of all she remembers the penetrating smell of onions on your skins
as you lie together sleeping under the fence’s quiet and forgiving wall.
She knows – there is no snow in South Auckland.
spoken word poetry
07 571 8722 021 145 5810
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
(or we think you should check this out!)
This Valentine’s Day put on your best frock and pearls or your waistcoat and hat, and join us for afternoon tea with light refreshment, snacks and acoustic entertainment…
THE ATRIUM GALLERY
THE BLACK SHEEP BAR & GRILL
OPENING THIS SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 11AM TO 5PM
Check out The Historic Village at 17th Avenue with its increasing boutique shops, galleries, The Incubator Creative Hub, The Jam Factory and The Imprint Gallery.