from Issue #8: Poetry by Kerrin P. Sharpe

Photo (CC) steve p2008 @ Flickr

Photo (CC) steve p2008 @ Flickr


to qualify as a search diver

she releases her hair
plants candles in the sea

grows fins of broom
and toi-toi imagines

her husband on a shore-line
somewhere say bay head beach

his thin face shaved
by small tongues of spume

imagines him the complete
angler with the anatomy

of a salmon imagines
how sirens of krill

tow his dinghy the mad hun
into a sound drowned valley

so the road home never darkens




to see Venice you only need a mask

even though Turner’s mask
was a thin wash of lilac rain
the artist always longed
to set fire to Venice

at first he dragged
undiluted paint across paper
then scratched out
any impression of water

his father known
for his spare ribs
remembers the smoke of stars
strokes of people
luminous hollow hair

refugees of Venetian history
doctors who didn’t quack
doges horologists glassblowers
became flames of tonal lilac

there was no need
to add body colour
Venice was an inferno
and what his painting forgave
from this fusion of embers

remained behind
the confessional grille
with the lilac Priest




photos of Raymond

though there are photos
of Raymond’s academic
surgery and lab gowns

he still shouted doctor
when he discovered
his son in the pool

though Raymond gave us a fridge
an unknown illness
still swallowed his wife

there are photos of Raymond
at the cemetery
with 100 blue moon roses

the morning my mother
couldn’t wake Raymond
I dreamt there were photos

of all his pills
on polka-dot saucers
whenever I think

of Raymond’s photos
there’s always a blackbird
I call the doctor

at my window




KERRIN P. SHARPE’s first book, three days in a wishing well, was published by Victoria University Press in 2012. A group of her poems also appeared in Oxford Poets 13 (Carcanet).  A second book, there’s a medical name for this, was published by Victoria University Press in 2014. At present, she is completing her third collection, rabbit rabbit, with the assistance of a Creative New Zealand grant. Kerrin lived for many years in Wellington, New Zealand, where she completed the Victoria University course (IML) in creative writing. She now lives in Christchurch and, as well as writing herself, teaches creative writing. Her students have had many writing successes and she is very proud of them all.

One thought on “from Issue #8: Poetry by Kerrin P. Sharpe

  1. Pingback: a thin wash of rain | Colours in Black and White

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