blackmail press 32
Kerrin P. Sharpe
New Zealand

Moka's Utu - Penny Howard
Kerrin P. Sharpe is a teacher of creative writing. She completed Bill Manhire’s Original Composition class at Victoria University of Wellington (1976). Over the last four years she has been published widely in: Best NZ Poems 08, 09, and 10; Best of the Best NZ Poems, Turbine 07, 09 and 10, Snorkel, Bravado, Takahe, NZ Listener, Poetry NZ, Junctures, Sport and The Press. In 2008, she was awarded the "New Zealand Post Creative Writing Teacher’s Award" from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She was featured Poet in Takahe 69.
three stories the deer published


the deer attends a book launch

The deer pulled on his dust jacket and headed towards the sighing pages of the wharf.   Where were the poet and his family?   He scanned his reflection.   From the empty champagne bottle, he could just hear the laughter of a small launch.


the deer donates blood

After calling 0800 Blood, the deer found himself in a caravan with a medical person and a needle.   Not a pine needle.   He watched his blood run back to his mother.   He heard her cry:  “Where is your hanky?”


the deer prepays his funeral

It was open day at the funeral parlour.   The deer was curious.   He found the undertaker eating strawberries in the viewing room.   He found plastic rosemary and grinning caskets.    He felt the veneer of loss and hurried to the forest to prepay the earth.

cape evans photo shoot

on hobby wheels
the ponies model

their 1910 winter collection
in full face hoods

to hide snow blindness
their bamboo shoes

disguise metal grips
a man haul harness

whistles when they work
under the pinion of the lens

the ponies still tremble

his warm hands are wings

the monk says wicker
like a prayer

he blesses the corn
the farmer
the lazy eye
of the water tower

he takes a champagne cork
and venerates 19thC ireland

he cures his mother’s sickbed
her walking stick
her epsom salts
her commode

he praises
the casting of bone

the smocking of limbs
the patience of ponies
he climbs their basket
and fills them with air

corkscrews of sparrows
turn the steeple

letters from a dying monk

one morning at mass
the monk
consecrates a stone

the friars
lay him on a ladder


the bees stop work


I keep finding letters
from a dying monk


the only place
to keep you
is in my mind


two strong men
plant a saint francis statue
I pray to it
I promise it everything


my son demonstrates the world
of folds and turns

the paper thin monk
unravels a crane

and holds the ganges
in the palm of his hand


I am missing
my origami teacher


how do you nurse
that silence?


the doors of dublin
close one

washing his name with stone

in honey valley
each spoon flies
back to the hive

birds in a state of grace
convert letters from the village
to envelopes of wishbone

out on the farm
michael struggles to clear
his brother’s name

he covers the weathervane
he hand brushes fields
he destroys the mailbox

he traps the burglar alarm
he strains coffee through muslin
he wears a rabbit harness

like men do at certain age
it should be raining
but isn’t