blackmail press 27
Shirley Deuchrass
New Zealand

untitled sculpture - Shane Eggleton
Shirley Deuchrass’s poems have been published in journals such as Poetry New Zealand, Takahe, Blackmail Press, as well as newspapers (Otago Daily Times,  the Bay of Plenty Times), and she has also been included in an "Arrow Anthology".
Moeraki Heritage

how many tides since our last visit?

I open the sand with my heel
  attempt to unearth its secrets  
as sun breaks the cloud
  beside Fleur’s place

from here, the boulders
  are clay eggs
     dropped by an over-sized bird

In Ireland, the Giant causeway
  looks connected to the coast
     stepping stones to God & Darwin

children take measure at arms length
  trace cracks in the shell
tell me they’re hatching
  a baby dragon

I’m touched by the unexplained
  the canvas of blue on blue

how many generations to come?
I leave my footprint, dissolving
  in the sea

Immediacy is everything

All my life my mother was happy
  with the present. There’s no use
    burying yourself in tomorrow
she would say, I’ll live till I die

choir meetings mingled
     with the beat of the marching team
although her grandchildren refused
  to line the streets & clap

she would fill herself with flowers
  narcissus of early spring
     tend them as she did my father
watering, feeding, kissing them into life
  his old spiked boots in the oval plot
     a double-petalled primula hugging the laces

the months before she died, she sent letters
  immediate as Sappho’s poetry
    she talked to my father’s shadow, asked him to
be patient, she wasn’t ready yet

she found joy in a bunch of weeds
  in the pattern of forest trees

her written lines became a child’s
  hand, a black scratch at a page.