Monday, December 20, 2010
Tuesday Poem: Claire Beynon
He has two wishes for his sixth
birthday; a pocket of ruby grapefruit
and a citrus knife with a bend in it.
It is the Fast of Ramadhan - the twenty-eighth day in -
and the weather shows no consideration.
Flies and an irreverent heat nudge Mr Sahlie
the fruit seller and his cart horse up the street.
The children are waiting. They know he will come.
He’ll spoil them with a fistful of pomegranate, a slice
of ice green melon. Upside down they wait, dangling
limbs and rinds of chatter from the purple crown
of a jacaranda tree. They swing from a sandpit sky,
scuffed toes bare, swishing through a thick mirage
of air. Up at the gate, in the post-box shade,
beach buckets brim with the horse’s drink.
Ramadhan. And today is the boy’s sixth birthday.
He drops to the ground with a ripe fruit sound
runs pelter, pelter down the street. There’s a horse,
a cart, an old man to meet (of course he’s remembered);
he whistles and grins, heaves the grapefruit down.
Next week, they agree, when the Fast is complete,
they’ll sit on the pavement, enjoy a pink feast.
“Mr. Sahlie?” I hear my boy speak.
“Why do these smell so wet
and so deep?”
Claire Beynon is a New Zealand writer and artist. Her first collection of poems - Open Book - Poetry and Images - was published by Steele Roberts Ltd (NZ) in 2007. When she isn't painting, her passions include Antarctica, walking along Dunedin's harbour edge, a cappella singing, gardening and paper-boat folding. . .
Somewhere in my travels in the blogosphere this past year, I happened upon Claire Beynon's blog Icelines, struck up a delightful friendship with this amazingly talented & energetic poet/artist, and from there connections with an entirely new group of international poets emerged through the Tuesday Poem blog. The New Zealand writer Mary McCallum, our tireless moderator, suggested a pairing of the thirty-or-so poets for this week's entry where we each post a poem by the other, and while the pairing appears to have been decided alphabetically, I couldn't have been more tickled to discover that I was paired with Claire. Getting a comment from Claire on my blog is always a gift -- thoughtful, insightful, loving. How she finds the time to comment with such presence is a mystery to me; I barely seem to be able to keep up with the few blogs I follow on a regular basis. But there is no question: my life is richer for this connection, and I am in awe of the community we've built here as well as the possibilities for community.
Cheers and the best holiday wishes to all the Tuesday Poem editors, readers, fellow bloggers!