The Foxie Tied to a Railing Outside the Book Busl


Just when I needed it, I received several gifts of encouragement this week.

One such gift was the painting above painted on ‘baby iron’ (small sized corrugated iron). It was painted by Corrina Woodason who wrote that it was inspired by a poem I wrote about the Dunedin suburb of Caversham. The poem was in a recent issue of the New Zealand literary magazine, Landfall.

k and painting

I’m proud to stand beside this painting. I do not know the artist, but I want to thank her for her encouragement and beautiful response to my poem which I have since renamed, and printed below:

In Caversham I have yearned to be closer to the horizon

Caversham is more than I can hear

at any one time.

More than the slow drum-roll

of a goods train passing through.

More than the monontone

of a single plane in a marble sky,

the clatter of the rescue helicopter

directly overhead, the background

oceanic surge

of biddable motorway traffic.

In Caversham, I have yearned

to be closer to the horizon,

that splinter of grey

ocean you can barely see.

In Caversham I have seen wooden porches

used as podiums for beer drinkers.

Lawns covered in polystyrene hail.

A blaze of light at the end of a passage

opened to the daylight, both ends.

Caversham is the factory worker

carrying his takeaway coffee as carefully

as a newborn.

It’s the skateboarder towing a staffie.

The Four Square supermarket

under its careworn verandah.

The woman on her way to the Sports Dairy

in bare feet and a black t-shirt

that says, ‘I Am So L.A.’

in hotpink. It is the foxie

tied to a railing outside the Book Bus.

  Kay McKenzie Cooke




Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

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