blackmail press 39
Charmaine Thomson
New Zealand

Four Steps To Standing on a Horse - Penny Howard - 2014
Charmaine has an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University.  Her first collection of poems, "Licorice", was published in 2012. Her poems have appeared in the 4th Floor Literary Journal, A Fine Line, The Shot Glass Journal, Blackmail Press, Fib Review, Turbine and Sport.

I tell my piano the things I used to tell you 

Her ears are secretive like bells,
she hears their devotions everyday. 
Tonight is delicate, under both hands, 
as Chopin stills the air.
Accepting all the hearts that break,
she shakes out scores behind churches,
in dresses of paper,
to tear off, tremble and weigh.

Tender harps sparked some children,
who know how to sing their way back,
making crumbs of sound to clean up,
fix up and thank you.  

The title of the poem is drawn from a quote by Fryderyk Chopin - "It is dreadful when something weighs on your mind, not to have a soul to unburden yourself to. You know what I mean. I tell my piano the things I used to tell you."

Armistice day

And he asks me, are you happy?
that’s too big to answer now I said.
I’ve indexed my responses into cards,
to pull them out for show and tell,
if my face doesn’t give the right answer.

Some days are like paper chains that swing,
some days are stronger than soldiers returning, 
decorated and whole. 
Be still and then tell me
if you are happy. 

Losing John Coltrane

He only writes high altitude poetry,
elegies mostly

any window is a friend,
bearing the weight of absence

he paints memories in earth,
unrested and alone 

duty fills her shoes in the wardrobe
where she remains his love supreme.