blackmail press 21
Anna Kaye Forsyth
New Zealand

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crossed cultures - special issue
Anna Kaye Forsyth is a kiwi freelance writer and editor, specializing in education who moonlights as a poet and a musician in her copious spare time.  She put out a chap book of poetry called Wonder in 2006. 
The follow-up to this, Sometimes I Wonder, was released in 2007 Poetry Live in Auckland, where Anna is a regular reader.  She won the In Unison Poetry competition earlier this year.  
Her poetry features in the journals FourW, Magazine and Sidestream

Planting the Whenua Again


I sprawl out on the green
next to the obviously-new lovers
and the lunching professionals.
I make a starfish.
Yes in a public place!
I close my eyes and imagine
my body merging with the earth.

It's been ages
since I've felt at peace with this place.
I had reverse culture shock
getting off the plane from Oz.
It never left me really.
Even my native tongue
sounded foreign.
My own voice made me cringe.
I developed a talent for blending in
over there.
But I straddled the Tasman
with a foot in both camps.
Detesting both cultures equally.
It was like living in no-man's land really.

But now I'm back here,
my belly stirs
with a new hunger
for intimacy
with this whenua.
I want to converse with the ancestors.
Not just mine
but the ancestors
who walked on this land.
On this soil.
I want to steal their stories
and give myself a walk-on part
somewhere in the middle.
I want to plant the whenua again.

Featured Artist Fiona Holding