blackmail press 25
Brenda Ann Burke
New Zealand

Born in Canada, I lived for many years in Wellington, New Zealand and am now based in Aotearoa’s  Far  North (writing short interest articles for Suite 101 --but mostly poetry). My work has appeared online in blackmail press, and in the Valley and Oz Micropress journals and brief.  Also I’ve been included in a couple of anthologies: Kaupapa:  New Zealand poets, world issues, and Hand Luggage Only, a collection of sonnets. My low-tech website is Kingston Seasons

cast down - mephisto jones
Greybird is Shaken, but Fights Back

Has Greybird lost her mojo? All these things leaching through the crusty skin.
It’s only a naked child, playing in sand black-and-sable like a chestnut roan.
A cloudy afternoon, low-tide a movie set for atomic winter. Presiding, a black gull,
nasty carnivore with bad personal hygiene.

But what of the night perfume, wet cloud whirling round her ankles
as she stands on the verandah, watching the sunset!  Blue and pink
like babies, only more so. The surf is loud! And when the swell goes out,
it’s like the sound’s been turned off.  Body fluids washed back, hiatus,
before the outward rush.

Yesterday Greybird said:  Thank you for the stars.  I had not worked them into my lists.

Lacking the will to hate in this place, she is suspicious.  Perhaps she has made it up.

Does imagination create or reveal? After all, Greybird remains outside.
The town-man’s reply:  “The vegetarian place? Just down the road.  You’ll fit right in there”.
And always, the comfort of television news.  “Orbital debris is the biggest threat
to a space shuttle in flight, surpassing the dangers of lift off and return to earth”.

Surely, tomorrow, she will wake again to cold toes and winter rain.