Monday, May 26, 2014

Tuesday Poem: I Have Sent a Package, by James Norcliffe

I Have Sent a Package

I have sent a package to summer
stamped with rime and franked with frost.

Inside are valleys and beaches,
the arc of their longing licked by cold waters.

There is music too: the percussion
of surf and of rocks falling from a mountain.

Open it carefully - say, when a warm
wind billows your northern curtains,

ruffles, perhaps, the light in your hair -
then warily unwrap these gifts.

If the ash tree just beyond were with you,
it would be a dance of yellow leaves

not this crown of spikiness where
blackbirds crouch, shrinking into their feathers.

I have been sending such parcels
all the days of my vanity, imagining

your curiosity, your juggling the weight,
your fingers working at the string.

This is one more. A package to summer
from one distant season to another.

- James Norcliffe

James Norcliffe was born in Greymouth, and lives in Church Bay (Banks Peninsula). Other than a period spent teaching English in China and Brunei, he has lived in Canterbury for his whole adult life. He has published award winning fiction, short fiction, and fantasy novels (young adult and adult), as well as six collections of poetry. He was Burns Fellow in 2000, and in 2003 was given the Christchurch Press Literary Liaisons Honour Award for his lasting contribution to literature in the South Island.

"I Have Sent a Package" is taken from his 2012 collection Shadow Play, which was a finalist for the 2011 Proverse Prize and is published by Proverse Hong Kong.

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2 comments:

Michelle Elvy said...

Oh this is nice to come to, just as the change of seasons is upon NZ, too. I like this especially:

If the ash tree just beyond were with you,
it would be a dance of yellow leaves

not this crown of spikiness where
blackbirds crouch, shrinking into their feathers.

leonie wise said...

I could do with a package FROM summer right now.

I don't know what it's like down there but Auckland was particularly cold today and I'm daydreaming about the central heating we had in London and windows with double glazing!

:)