blackmail press 37
Martha Morseth
New Zealand

Mere & Child - Penny Howard
I have had two collections of poetry published in New Zealand, the latest being 'Hippopotamus in the room' in 20012. I have had poems published in many NZ literary and public journals and magazines.

Small crystals of salt jab my skin
ping my not so waterproof parka
bubble the sand, splatter the grey sea silver.

On the tartan car rug we huddle into ourselves
I feign immunity to forces of nature
toss damp scraps at advancing gulls

watch the bossy one scolding
feeding on power.
Not a he, you state with authority

a female attempting control.
Too large for a she I avoid saying
not wanting to quarrel.

Light seeps through clouds
though the rain continues.
I pour tea from the thermos

unwrap pieces of ginger slice.
You stand, arms wide, a messiah
announce to the birds

Ah,beach picnics; nothing better!
Light weakens, wind grows colder.
I hear close cawing, slipping of wings.

Through the car window
gulls grow smaller
the contentious one, like your father.