Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Tuesday Poem: "For Chrissie Weeping for the Sea" by Andrew M. Bell

As yesterday, Monday 22 February 2020, was the 10th Anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake, I thought it would be appropriate to share this poem I wrote for a good friend who was mourning the fact that our oceans were filled with sewage for 10 months after the earthquake.

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.

by Andrew M. Bell

POET'S NOTE: The poet wishes to acknowledge the editors of Landfall in whose Issue 230 this poem was first published.

Photograph Credit: Joe Hayes

For more information about the poet, Andrew M. Bell, see: