Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Perennial


For days it rains

the sky -

Storm water drains
gulp and hiccup

rivers billow

soggy leaves cling
to each other.

We dream of summer.

Rain rises through the floor,
runs clear deltas down the wall.

Faintly, faintly as constellations
emerge at day's cusp
a fleur-de-lis pattern seeps
up through the paint

printing across the wall
the careful curves
in a grandfather's garden:
white irises

which, slick with rain,
months ago,
defiantly vital

flowered again

because the season demanded
some offering between their rising from
and returning to earth

Now, winter at its most emphatic,
here they are
ghosting up that ancient insignia
through my walls.

They begin to retreat when the rain clears.
The day is out of the blue

I expected watery light
not this blaze.

I expected doves with new green shoots
not three ducks
wings a-whirr
swooping from the wrung sky

and the smell of silt

and evaporation

Poppy Haynes

Poppy Haynes recently completed a BA(Hons) in English and Theatre Studies. She co-edits the poetry section of Critic and is active in the Dunedin live-poetry scene. She has had poems published in The Listener, North & South, World Literature Today and the Otago Daily Times, and is also the author of two plays.

"One day I noticed that the pattern of the painted-over wallpaper was starting to seep through my bedroom walls. The image resonated with me, and even before the rest of the poem was written I had a strong feeling it would be to do with survival and regeneration, the redemptiveness of natural cycles, the newness of a rained-out world." PH April 2010

You will find more of Poppy's poems at Deep South and on the ODT website.

For more Tuesday Poems, click here.

Thank you, Poppy.


  1. maggie@at-the-bay.comApril 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Let it rain poetry - New Zealand is awash with glorious Tuesday poems.

  2. An astonishing image of the fleur-de-lis seeping through. Such a drenched poem and such delicacy ... lovely to discover this poet.

    And yes, Maggie, hallelujah! The Tuesday Poem is 'defiantly vital/flowered again/because the season demanded some offering...'

  3. Gosh, this Tuesday poem romp is enjoyable! Thanks everybody.

  4. A gorgeous poem - so Dunedin! Love it. Thanks Claire, thanks Poppy.

  5. this was very generous of you..and a lovely poem to read, with the inconsolable and the gulping.
    Thank you....

    (It was so interesting to read about White. I'll go back and read it again and follow the links. I'm curious about your thought process, the work that went into the final piece...thank you so much for that post.)