Kerrin P Sharpe

Kerrin P. Sharpe completed Bill Manhire’s Original Composition class at Victoria University of Wellington in 1976.  Over the last two years she has been published widely, including in Best New Zealand Poems 08,09 and 2010, Turbine 07, 09 and 10, SnorkelBravadoTakaheNZ ListenerPoetry NZJuncturesSport and The Press. In 2008, she was awarded the New Zealand Post Creative Writing Teacher’s Award by the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her first collection of poems Three Days in a Wishing Well was published by Victoria University Press in September, 2012. She has had poems in the Best of the Best NZ Poems and was selected for Oxford Poets 2013: An Anthology. Kerrin is a tutor at the Hagley Writers’ Institute and her second collection of poetry, There’s a Medical Term for This, was published by VUP in 2014

Jo travels as a kaka

Kerrin P Sharpe 2014

even before your mother
touches the black Madonna’s robe
or begs for a year of grace

Jo flies towards you through the pink
and white rose petals
above high winds and power cuts

you hear her first
and remember when you drew
a kaka in gouache

and coloured pencil
from a Gregg’s jelly card
these nights you light

the red-orange neck
of a candle to see
her scarlet under wings

to know she’ll always live
in the powdered wood of her eggs

though his ship leaves the space between windows

Kerrin P Sharpe 2013

though his ship leaves
the space between windows
Jacko still lights
the bull’s eye lantern

straightens the captain’s
Wallace sheets brushes
the epaulettes
on the dress-makers dummy

he still chops strong rough wood
to fill the red arms
of Morrin’s wheelbarrow

and tells her she swims
like an aristocrat

so when he asked her
to return his small
stage of bones to the earth

she realized he would walk
the road, you know
with hand signals and everything