S  e  c  r  e  t  s    blackmail press 24
Raewyn Alexander
New Zealand

Raewyn Alexander's sixth poetry collection, Museum of Lost Days is available from Earl of Seacliff and some places in central Auckland.  It is her tenth book.  Alexander works as a communication and writing consultant freelance, mainly for a UK charity online who assist teenagers unable to attend school. 
Originally from Hamilton, she's travelled the world and now makes Grey Lynn, Auckland, Aotearoa, NZ her home, she thanks goodness every day for this.  More here   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmrVoDLPLjo

here in a cave by the ocean

the roar of water reminds me
time moves in every direction
whether or not a clock stops

while soldiers pour into Tibet
while depleted uranium poisons Iraq
while a big ’sorry’ rings across Australian red earth
we find every chance to lift something softly
we find our best songs still have words
we find an embrace as potent as plankton

small things
in this secret place
I keep them in the dark
the sound of my son’s baby voice
the day he brought me hexagonal tiles he found
the way he smiled and thought of me sometimes
a collection of laughter my daughter made at nothing at all
a reminder she gave me to always think first ’will this hurt anyone?’
a box covered in fabric scraps with tiny gloves inside to protect me

Maori kept precious feathers in a lidded carved receptacle
they wore such decorations in their black hair
perhaps some even now place what flies and swoops under cover
every time I bring out into view what those familiar give me
I hear such a crowd in a breath and see people run across a beach
where the surf rolls a breakthrough

welcome then into this darkness and secrecy
the open mouth of a recess into the rock and under a mountain
where we hold gifts from those loved kept safe for their light

Today I Stopped Throwing myself off the Top of Buildings

I heard Ghost Riders in the Sky play on the car radio
while across the harbour bridge fear drowned in a lurex sea
all the times I could’ve died fell into the sun
later I embraced a media star in his cafe
oh - how we danced the day past blue

today I stopped throwing myself off the top of buildings
the way I held myself changed into a lake with tall trees
when we walked there birds flew across the sun for us
forgiveness a river discovered in dense country
many new paths through dappled light to reflection

today I stopped throwing myself off the top of buildings
my past gave up belonging to a cult where it had to speak in tongues
I attended a meeting of the Secret Society for Best Ideas
laughter brimmed in our cups after singing to moonlight
now I head for the infinite with unbroken eggs in my hands

the tackiest

plastic flowers and a gold aluminium fruit bowl
dead moths
candlewick bedspread and woollen blankets
no duvet
dripping tap in the bathroom
a cha cha cha

he posed on the pink queen-size and grinned
said he thought I'd like
the irony of cheating in a place like that
where style got mooned
paw marks everywhere

later I flew to Europe
sailed on a picture of alps
into the arms of another love in leather

my motel smirker sent me
letters saying to stay happy
a smile in each ending

how brave his ink had to be