Winter in Auckland

Landmarks slide in and out of the fog.
Dancing behind a vaporous veil,
landmarks slide in and out of the fog.

The sea spits mouthfuls of frothy ale,
like an oil painting I once saw,
dancing behind a vaporous veil.

Gulls tumbling above the waves screech and caw
as the wet wind tosses them to and fro
like an oil painting I once saw.

The sodden remnants of autumn’s glow
cling desperately to clammy concrete
as the wet wind tosses them to and fro.

The whistle past my ears, on repeat,
as fat droplets of water bunch and
cling desperately to clammy concrete.

A soft focus scene, dreary and bland,
landmarks slide in and out of the fog
as fat droplets of water bunch and
landmarks slide in and out of the fog.

Childhood Memories of a Younger Sister

Tiny gumboots
plodding ’round the paddocks,
each sun-kissed freckle testament
to another adventure,
Puppy scampering at your side.

Catching tadpoles in the dam,
each tiny captive carefully transported
to the water trough
nearest the house.

Morbid curiosity when
the mobile butcher visits.
No pampered city kids.
Witness even to the miracle
of a new calf born
on Hancock’s farm,
just behind the haybarn.

Hand reared lambs,
tails spinning madly as
they suckle greedily on the teat.
Misty, Pebbles, and Bam Bam.
Calves that slurp and slobber
over outstretched fingers.

Dusty bike rides down gravel roads
to Tomarata Lake
for a swim with no parental supervision.
Carefree fun,
but you soon emerge with blue lips
and shivering limbs,
to bake under the summer sun.

Trying to catch eels
off the old bridge,
and training
for cross country
in a circuitous loop.

Hiding in the toetoe bushes,
sharp blades of grass a warning
not to linger.
The bobby calf pens
make sturdier huts,
but the hay bales in the barn
are more comfortable still.

You loved playing with
the high pressure hose,
gleefully clearing the muck
from the cowshed.
But better yet was sitting,
nattering,
on the cowshed roof
or on the top of the water tank.
Sitting in the loquat tree,
stuffing our faces until our stomachs groaned
and Mum told us off
for ruining our appetites for dinner.

Hiding on the trampoline from
a wayward sheep
intent on butting us all into next week.
Carefully watching snorting bulls
from behind the safety of the fence.
The big orange hereford
gave us the willies.
Trespassers welcome,
the bulls will charge you later, the sign said.
Carefully walking the boards
at the cattle yards,
listening to the auctioneer prattle
while we eyed up the meanest cattle.

A day in the saddle,
riding out to Lawrence Road,
comfortable,
companionable.

Lying on our backs
in the verdant grass,
listening to the cows
chew the cud,
and dreaming
of distant days.

An interview with author Grace Maier Crook

Capture

Destiny

heaving waves hit the sand
churning thoughts, despair

wave upon wave lashes
pain predominant, can’t let go

words less spoken,
tormenting his soul

the one he loves
forever holds

she is willing
so he may rest

the sun rises? and sets?
the future uncertain

shadows coalesce the
sea pummels the shore

waves forcing, insanity home
one by one diminishing so

Our Lord heard his prayers
come thither I shall heal

a host of angels
descends take his hand

pain washed away,
in the calm seas

on gossamer wings
he rises to be with him

Grace Maier Crook

What is it about poetry that appeals to you?
Poetry is a release of endorphins, either a welling desire to write out my frustrations, anger, sorrow, or to let the whole world hear the happiness in my heart.

Do you read your own poetry aloud?
Yes, I read them aloud to my cat Sheldon, he is a very receptive cat. He picks up on the flow of the words. If I hit a snafu he looks at me with disdain. I then correct it, read it and read it aloud again. I get kitty kisses for a great job.

Do you have any of your own poems memorized?
I’ve memorized one poem and that is My Love. I often sit in my rocking chair and recite it over and over again.

Do you share your work with people you know in real life?
I share with my husband and sons, they have no clue where I’m coming from. The same goes for my siblings. I believe the only time they will take notice is when I get published.

When you write, do you write for yourself or for your audience?
I write for myself and an audience whom I’ve an abundance of, it seems.

Who do you consider to be your audience?
I consider my audience to be my family on WDC and my cat Sheldon. He critiques my work in his own quirky way. I know he pops up a lot, he is my best friend and confidant.

What style of poetry do you write? Do you have a favorite?
I love to write freestyle because it gives me the opportunity to express myself in different dimensions.

My sister calls home “he’s gone”.
With a choked voice I tell the others.
I run to another room no one sees my tears.
My husband comes to comfort me.
I push him away to grieve alone.

My favorite form of poetry is haiku, alas I’m not great at it.

When it comes to writing poetry, what do you think is the most important aspect?
In poetry, I think the most important aspect is the use of repetition of repeating words, phrases, or lines. For example, Edgar Allen Poe’s poem ‘The Bells’ repeats the word ‘bells.’

Do you read poetry by other authors? Do you have a favourite poet?
Yes, I do read poetry of other authors but my mood depends upon what I will read at that particular moment.
This poem of Dickinson’s (Because I could not stop for Death) grabbed me by the throat on many occasions. I’ve read this piece before many years ago when life seemed useless. My husband is dying. I know in my heart it will be God who comes for him, extending his hand and climbing the stairs to heaven.
My favourite author would be Carl Sandburg. There are so many definitions in describing style. Sandburg uses nature in his stylistic works.

You write poetry, but are also writing a children’s story, a comedy, and a
dramatic script. What challenges do these other formats present for you?

Writing poetry isn’t much of a challenge because it comes from my heart. Writing children’s stories is more of a challenge because you need to find the right age group and genre, and the dramatic script I find there are lots of loops one must jump through to get the right ambience.

You can read more of Grace’s work at her Writing.com portfolio.

Dusty Memories

Memories float like whispers,
tattered dreams of distant times.
An echo of childish laughter
trips down towards the creek.

The thump of the pump in the old tin shed
laid to rest in a rusty bed.
The gurgle of the creek calls me on,
tempting me,
the forgotten allure of Marmite and watercress sandwiches.

The hay barn where dust motes
danced in shafts of light
and the old abandoned cowshed –
gone.
Destroyed on a path to progress.

But in my dreams, a little girl
who looks a lot like me
still searches for goose eggs to take home for Mother
and sits in the feijoa tree
and dares the world to steal her dreams.

Knowing Her

She shows a thousand faces to the world,
tempting and tormenting,
seductive and surreal.

She is the richly scented roses
with their cliched velvety rouge,
provocative with promises of pleasure.

She is hiding beneath the damp ink
gleaming from tender prose and poetry
scrawled in cursive curlicues.

She lingers in whispered conversations,
warm snuggles and
stolen magic moments.

She rests in the wrinkled clasp
of two tired hands that have held the world
and wait to see one more dawn together.

She bears a hundred names,
in a thousand or more tongues.
She is versatile, whimsical and passionate.

She is fleeting and enduring,
paradoxical and timeless.
She is romance.

IMG_6805b&w (1)

Just Daisy

Lily, so elegant,
so sleek and serene.
Every petal in place,
always picture perfect.

Rose, the very symbol of love,
tastefully dressed for passion
and romance,
one glamorous package,
awaiting only a ring,
a symbol of forever.

Holier than thou Daffodil,
bringing joy and hope
to the sick,
like some Florence Nightingale.

Orchid’s exotic beauty,
how can anyone compete with that?
Enticing people
to hunger for new experiences
and novel delights.

Poppy, oh, poor dear Poppy,
drawing people in
with her sad vulnerability
and serious devotion.

All so exquisite,
so splendid,
and I’m…
I’m just a weed.
Just Daisy.
No elegance,
no passion,
no love,
no remembrance…
Just Daisy.
Just me.
Careening out of control,
sick with jealousy.
They don’t even notice.
Because I’m just Daisy.