Gail Ingram – He shall not be moved

Ingram LE Aotearoa NZ P&W April 2023

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Live Encounters Aotearoa New Zealand Poets & Writers April 2023

He shall not be moved, poems by Gail Ingram

He shall not be moved

His rage was double.

The one part was stiff
with the loss of power, a fallen king
who once held himself upright
across the factory floor, across
the sticky sap of talk and growth.
He had sex in his home bed
and it reminded him of holding flags
on top of a mountain.

The other part felt the bristle
of familiar bees on skin,
the ensuing ache of nectar, loss
in the hierarchy of shifting
roles, patterns suspended
in the shadows, wary
of new seed-heads, floating
towards the progress of light.

And when the two sides met
– this sore flower, this resolute branch –
the incandescent strike
/ opening a sky.

Fairy loses latte in the bush

Fairy couldn’t remember
where he’d put his morning latte.
He tracked his route in a long low gait
back to the valley of the third
where he typically brewed
his blend from the peaty stream.
But it wasn’t there
or anywhere on the way up
and his stomach grumbled
like the not-so dormant volcano
beyond the hills, a perfect peak
he used to define himself by,
though now the ice
was beginning to thaw,
and he no longer thought about
her surprisingly elegant fingers
untangling the unruly locks of
his punga-coloured hair as they lay
among the bracken next to the silence
of the Waitara. He kicked the stump
of the totara next to the path.
Where is my latte? he muttered
and his woven cup fell off the stump,
for it had been sitting there all along
and it spilled all over
his freshly finished green moccasins.

© Gail Ingram

Gail Ingram is an award-winning writer from the Port Hills of Ōtautahi, New Zealand, and author of Contents Under Pressure (Pūkeko Publications 2019). Her second poetry collection Some Bird (Sudden Valley Press) is forthcoming in 2023. Her work has appeared in Landfall, Turbine/Kapohau, The Spinoff, The Poetry Shelf, Poetry New Zealand, Cordite Poetry Review, Blue Nib, Barren Magazine and others. She has an MCW (with distinction) from Massey University, is managing editor for a fine line, and a short fiction editor for Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction.

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