Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tuesday Poem: "For Chrissie Weeping for the Sea"

You’re the one,
the nexus, the crux, the one at the centre
keeping all us flakes from
flaking off into a life more ordinary
and yet,
here you are, bursting into spontaneous tears,
the creep up behind you emotions,
the lump rising mid-word
and it’s not much to ask:
here, the poor people have a patch of the sea
not generally a city feature.

We walk our dogs, we surf our dreams and we contemplate.
We know the value of a dollar and the value of
turning your back on one.

And we’re a funny, fucked-up family
and our sea is our friend,
our plaything,
our solace and we’ll drive
one and a half hours
on special occasions
just to change our view of our sea
but we’ll always come back to our strip
of our sea
and we’ll stand and weep with our friend, Chrissie,
for the day they filled our sea with shit.

It seemed appropriate to post this poem since tomorrow is the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Christchurch and its infrastructure and killed 185 people. Raw sewerage filled our rivers and flowed out into the sea so that our beaches were deemed off-limits for about nine months.


  1. I think this is a tremendous poem, Andrew - to say that I really liked it seems strange given the subject matter, but I like the way it sneaks up on that brutal ending.

  2. powerful, Andrew - the restrained anger and sadness in here - thinking of you and other Cantabrians today

  3. It's been quite a number, hasn't it, Andrew--I call it "the year of awful."