Alexandra Fraser – While we are waiting

Fraser LE P&W April

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Live Encounters Aotearoa New Zealand Poets & Writers April 2023

While we are waiting, poems by Alexandra Fraser.

While we are waiting

embankments glow with early dandelions
cowparsley and crocosmia

and the train comes on time
and there is Pachelbel’s Canon

and there are the blues of indigo
and periwinkle and violet

and hydrangea buds fatten on brown stems
we thought were dead

there are regular sunsets and sunrises
and apple crumble leftovers for breakfast

birds fluster and peck in the rain
greens of plantains paspalum kikuyu

and light glints from quartz inclusions
in the mulching waterworn pebbles

glowing sparks like so many stars
in the images from the new telescope

everyone everywhere is entranced

we look across the universe millions of years
to the time of the dinosaurs

when they too were skywatching
and waiting and grew feathers in hope

now we inspect each other’s skins
looking for nubs of miraculous growth

but sometimes while we are waiting
we flick away the fat new buds

from their hopeful springtime stems
as we sabotage our optimisms

without thought
one splintering twig at a time

Aubade for bee dance

Dawn light slides past the blinds
I don’t want to burrow through sorrow any more
turning up the same wretched things
that have been found fondled discarded
by so many over and over

The times are thick with it those words
are on repeat old vinyl
returning again and again
spinning on turntables that won’t die

I don’t want to feel the heavy dust coating my palms
grit dampened in early dew gathering
in slick wet semi-circles under my nails
the fibrous net of dead roots entangling
every syllable

I want to wake to the sweetness again the delight
which is elusive to me
though I know it must be there
somewhere there are signs

I shall become a tracker looking for the bent twig
the shadow of a hand-print the perfect shade
of blue rimming a cup

the scent of crushed sage and geranium leaf
the flight of bees towards nectar

the honey of life sticky adherent transferable

whispers of Bach floating from an open window

the crack of a pegged sheet flexing in the wind

Moths will come in darkest night
to drink our sleeping tears

You are unaware sleeping
There is a moth gentled on your cheek
like a giant tear feathered velvet
a curling proboscis extrudes
probes along spiky lashes
tastes moisture salt sorrow
you leak grief to the night air

Your daytime face is desert sand
arid anger you no longer write of love
you are enraged despairing grieving
your words are bruised on the page

in isolated misery you rail without hope
against misogyny liars manipulators
against every trolling fascist every climate change denier
against every hand that slaps a moth into a candle flame

Will we ever touch again
sandcovered fingers reach
to draw love-hearts in drying sand
those long languorous summer days
remember them?
sun baked skin high cirrus drifting on the blue
the long recurring roll of surf
an ocean of salt tears pulled by the moon

night comes again relentlessly
and with it come the moths
to drink our sleeping tears

© Alexandra Fraser

Alexandra Fraser lives in the west of the beautiful Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, surrounded by kauri and tree-fern. She has been published in magazines and anthologies in Aotearoa and internationally, and has been highly placed in many poetry competitions.  Alexandra is a member of the Isthmus creative and critique group of poets, whom she met while completing the Master Creative Writing at AUT. She’s published two poetry collections through Steele Roberts (‘Conversation by Owl-Light’ (2014), ‘Star Trails’ (2019)) and is working on two more – one on history and ecology, the other on networks.

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