blackmail press 21
Bryony Jagger
England/ New Zealand
crossed cultures - special issue

They say,
“Home is where
the heart is.”

  But, when
the heart’s lost,
    where is home?

       The meeting point
       tattered memories?

Is it in England where I was brought up
and where my parents still live? Or is
it in Auckland where my children live
and where my heart was lost? Or is
it halfway in between like Japan?
I’m stuck here in no-man’s land
amidst the luxury hotels with
their luxuriant foliage and
the azalea-bedecked roads
of this reclaimed piece
of Tokyo Bay so close
to Tokyo yet so far
from the downtown
hustle & bustle
that I feel I
am relaxing
in a time
warp or
for all
to fall
into an
way out
to find
the way
to home
or even
if home
is still
a viable
or English

Featured Artist Fiona Holding
Bryony was born near Manchester in England and brought up in London with English (her father was an English teacher who inspired two Booker Prize winners)and Welsh heritage (Welsh-speaking grandparents).  She studied music and philosophy at Cambridge University. She came to New Zealand in 1975 when her husband got a lectureship at Auckland University. She took NZ citizenship in 1983, after falling in love with Auckland, and stayed when her husband left her.
She has two daughters and two grandsons. She is a composer and writer.(Besides poetry she has nine novels sitting in her filing cabinet!)

She has been a bookworm of world literature throughout her life and has been most influenced in her poetry by Sappho & Aristophanes (in Greek), Catullus and Horace (in Latin), Verlaine and Pierre Louys(in French), Basho and Shiki (in Japanese and translation),Donne, Dylan Thomas and Rabindranath Tagore(In English). She has been most influenced creatively in both music and literature
by Japanese culture.