Kiwiwriters Cafe 2006

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More from John Irvine, whose own website can be accessed by clicking on the following link.

Cooldragon poems


Leaving with Ralph

She left yesterday,
crammed in the back seat
of a small Japanese car
with her computer
and Ralph,
the 3 foot high
black fuzzy gorilla.

Couldn’t leave behind
the Oxford dictionary
or Thesaurus…
they’re her bunny rug,
her link to
literary insanity.

A suitcase barely
one inch shorter than she,
a box of arty stuff and books,
and a jar of my cabbage pickle
took care of the boot space,
and she fitted a brave smile
in between a sun hat
and a thumping heart.

I stood at the gate
watching them shrink away
until I lost sight
of her face.
I could still see her arm
dangling out
of the car window, though,
and I swear I saw
tiny crimson letters
fluttering from her fingertips
leaving a tangible trail
of forgetmenot thoughts
along the gravel track

all beginning with L…

Copyright © 2004 John Irvine


Emilie's Birthday

Madame Poulard, her long black skirt sweeping the dusty road, toiled up the hill towards the whitewashed villa whose red pantiles seemed to dance in the heat. Pausing to wipe the perspiration from her brow, she eased the arm holding the basket of goats cheese and olives. Cursed her arthritis.

The long table was set beneath the walnut tree, white cloth anchored against a hoped-for breeze by blue and white bowls of luscious, blushing peaches. Fresh loaves, still warm and wrapped in damp muslin sent their fragrance into the air and four great earthenware pitchers of wine stood beside a dozen crystal glasses.

The guest were already taking their places and M.Blanc, his hair pomaded, moustaches waxed, was directing them as if they were incapable of finding seating for themselves.

'Mme Dubois, here if you please. Anton, at the end mon ami…'

As Mme. Poulard reached the garden and entered through the gate almost hidden by scarlet Bougainvillea, the children came, in procession from the house wearing their Sunday best and expressions of grave importance.

Behind them, Bertrice and Armand carried platters of roasted fowl, crisp and golden as the sun, and vegetables which had been growing in the kitchen garden less than an hour before.

The children waited in a line, collars and smocks pristine, eyes downcast as was seemly before guests. Then at a signal from Papa, they curtseyed or bowed, then raised their heads,  eyes bright with anticipation.

The guests applauded and the children took their seats. Jacques reached for a peach but Emilie pulled back his plump little hand with a wary glance at her father. M. Blanc had not noticed and the children swapped conspiratorial and much relieved looks.

Mme Poulard approached the table, breathless from exertion and placed the cheese, and olives, black, green and succulent, in a prominent place, apologising for her lateness. Bertrice brought out platters of finely sliced tomatoes tossed with olive oil and fresh basil; Armand added the finishing touch, a vase of meadow flowers.

M. Blanc held up a hand and all was silent. ' Seigneur, Père saint, tu nous rassembles autour de cette table…'

Once the Grace was said - the birthday meal began.

Copyright © 2006 Lynda Finn


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