July 27, 2012

Bob Orr, National Poet

Bob Orr will be reading at Poetry Central, the grand celebration of National Poetry Day taking place on July 27th, 5:30 pm, at Central City Library, featuring eleven fabulous readers and a celebration of nzepc's eleventh birthday.

This is one of my favourite Bob Orr poems, from his book Calypso, which we launched a few years back at another Poetry Central:

I never did get to visit the grave
of Robert Louis Stevenson.
I wandered aimless about Apia's ramshackle markets
tasted a watermelon sliced open with a warm machete
drank the nectar of a green coconut beneath a pineapple sun
drank Vailima beer with a priest in a park
bought a fish from a boy on the side of the road
drank more beer at Aggie Grey's with the sad ghost of Marlon Brando.
But as for Robert Louis Stevenson
who could tell a palagi tourist about a man who lived on a mountain?
A very puzzled bus driver told me anyway he could be sleeping.
At Papa's fale the kids played outside on family graves
Papa sang away to himself on the porch
across the road a church was asleep until White Sunday
a pig nosed half-heartedly through broken coconut husks
a lizard slipped in and out of a crack in the ceiling's memory.
It kept a count I'm sure of every breath that I was taking
but could not recall for me the man of treasure island.
In the suddenness of the evening
the Pacific Ocean's cool machete split the sun in two
and at the same time just as sharply
divided what I know from what
I thought I knew.

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 03:00


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