EVERYTHING IN TIME
(or, One way to dispose of a failed painting)
The day the passionfruit ripened, she decided
it was time to free the waterfall. For years
she’d kept it hanging – all rage and thunder
bolted to the wall, one foot two inches
above her rimu floor. She’d ignored the water
protesting behind glass, turned her back
against the rocks, denied the plight of moss
and lichen suffocating inside
their conservation-friendly environment.
Wood pigeons had long since flown
or fallen from branch to ground, wings
of feather and bone turned to compost,
cicadas petrified, mid-crawl.
There was no more air in there,
nothing left for birdsong or insect flight,
only brittle spray
It was time.
She let it loose
over the claw-footed bath
watched the weathered schist
loosen its grip
and with loud splitting and splashing
drench the thirsty spears
of lancewoods, ferns
and ancient cabbage trees.
From the corner of her eye
she swore she spotted eels
where there’d been no eels
before. If you’d arrived
at the house just then
you, too, might have caught them
clambering over the cast-iron rim
making a bee-line for the mud
in her freshly soaked garden.
For more Tuesday Poems, please click on the quill. Dunedin-based poet David Howard is this week's TP hub editor, with the poem Cloud Silence by Graham Linsay.