In A Funk

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These should be blue. That’s the colour of a funk isn’t it?

I was walking in such a funk I was forgetting to look around for shots. Of the photographic variety, that is. Without warning, a little pink flower hooked my eye. And so it began. My funk dissolving to let in some clarity.

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The reason for my grumpy mood? Only my computer throwing a hissy and gobbling up four hours of solid manuscript editing, that’s all. (I know. I know. I should’ve pushed Save).

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This young black-backed gull (they’re so ungainly and ugly when in the adolescent stage) reflecting my present feelings towards manuscripts.

As I walked by the silvered water, it became clear to me how to fix the writing knot I’m struggling with. ‘No problem is so formidable that you can’t walk away from it’ Charles M. Schulz.

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The bully boys. That’s what I call black-backed gulls. Here they appear to be waiting, like front-line soldiers, for goodies from the inlet’s incoming tide. But what you can’t see, are the smaller, red-legged gulls in a patch behind. These lower ranked gulls are going to have to wait longer for their meal – that is, if the black-backs (as I call them) don’t take all of the food before it reaches where they are.

The black-backeds are taking the front line and will not allow any attempts at an incursion from behind.

Which is all sounding dangerously close to a metaphor.

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And here they are, the smaller red-legs, standing their ground behind the bully boys. They’re looking doleful, hesitant and resigned. My heart goes out to them.

And that’s it from me to you today. Hope it’s all good in your neck of the woods. Currently it’s snowing down south: Murihiku’s petticoat is showing. However, the ground a bit farther north; here in Otepoti; is too warm for the clouds to manufacture snow. But that hasn’t stopped the wind from blowing bitter. A shame to have a bitter wind with snow on its breath, not delivering. I am a fan of snow.

Tomorrow is Monday and another day with a fresh page to write on. My muse says he’s always better after a good night’s sleep and some winter gruel. Who stocks gruel these days? I don’t know. That muse of mine. Being difficult again.

Below, a poem about the bitter wind (in this case the more prevalent nor’easterly, rather than today’s southerly).



Let me see the day through

this relentless wind, a fencing cabbage tree

its thrust and jab of blade.

For days now

the unpegged washing of snow

lying in the mud

of Dunedin’s hills

where a giant hawk of cloud

lifts off and in its talons,

Mount Cargill

a sag of grey.

If I could

I’d breathalise this wind

to prove how full it is

of Antarctic ire,

how merciless its gathering raid and quest

to assassinate;

its intention to behead

every flower in its track, to shatter

the frozen bones of birds.


Kay McKenzie Cooke



Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

5 thoughts on “In A Funk

  1. Here I am reading your post, it seems you’ve just been reading mine. I admire your poems so much, in this case the fencing cabbage tree with thrust and jab of blade. Oh yes!


  2. I’m right there beside you in this post. The poem nails an icy Antarctic day. But are you not using software that saves automatically, like Word, Kay?


  3. Thanks Rachel! I was using Pages. Usually not a bother but in this particular instance the computer appeared to suddenly seize and I couldn’t open or move anything. So I turned the computer off. Forgetting to save my work first & of course losing my most recent work. I finally worked out it wasn’t the computer at fault as the remote mouse I was using. So there was no need to turn off the computer, just switch to a mouse that plugs in. Oh well. It’s not cataclysmic. Just annoying. And it’s made me more alert to saving as I go which is I’d grown slack about. Although, it might be an idea to export to Word and work from there, so thank you kindly for that suggestion.


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