it is a hole that never fills
an ache that underlies
Mäori say when one tree falls
the whole forest cries
When my mother died I was a child
and wailed with the forest
At twenty my best friend fell
I kept my tears inside
Today at others’ funerals
their salt works its way
You always worry away at the holes
(c) Keith Westwater
This poem is a response to the Canterbury earthquakes and to loss. I hope the ‘holes’ in the poem engender the sense of disconnection which occurs when we lose someone close.
Keith, right front with fellow Tuesday Poets; Janis Freegard, Mary Mcallum, Tim Jones and Helen Rickerby at Janis’ recent booklaunch.
Thank you Keith for sharing this unpublished poem with us. It can be difficult to write with clarity about loss and its depths but you’ve done it beautifully.
Keith’s first book, Tongues of Ash
, was published by IP Press Australia and was chosen as the IP Picks Best First Book, 2011.
He began writing poetry in 2003 while attending the International Institute of Modern Letters’ Writing the Landscape course at Victoria University of Wellington. Since then his work has appeared in a number of literary publications and has received or been short-listed for awards in New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland.
Keith’s blog, ‘Some Place Else’
is currently disappeared in outer blogger-space. He hopes to have it back online very soon. Meanwhile here is another link to Keith’s poetry…Resilience,
recently chosen for TP’s Hub Page. View here
NB Keith’s blog has now reappeared here
And now please return to the Tuesday Poem Hub
where Helen Rickerby is today’s editor and read her important choice of a must read poem by Airini Beautrais. ‘No time like the ’80s/No Future’