Tuesday Poem – Scythe by Deirdre Thorsen-Lavery

1. this morning

he knocked –

not the Grim Reaper

except for his

unsuspecting beast

the home kill man

sought a farmer called Peter


hailed from Napier


there was no dishevelment

tidiness disguised intent

blood  knives  bullet

he could’ve commanded

a naval cruiser instead

politely requested my phone


2. the surface of the

horse’s water trough

is sheet glass


a variegated moth

floats suspended

on sky’s reflection


exquisite in fragility


to lift

into safety

I destroy




there is no solution


I am a

scythe slicing

through that which

is abundantly florescent


I dislike

what I select


consider the home kill man

more skilfully



Author’s Comment: Deirdre says ‘The poem ‘Scythe,’ which was second in the 2013 Takahe Poetry Competition, is the direct result of a recent incident. The home kill man knocked on my door looking for a local farmer, his tidy appearance contrasting with the nature of his work. In my valley there is much beauty, yet always death. These dualities and ambiguities, the light and dark of things inspire my writing.’

Helen says: I think the poet’s conundrum  in the above is one which many of us face on a regular basis, when frail insects/species cross our pathway.   I love the way in which Deirdre contrasts the feelings at having been accidentally involved in the death of something so exquisite,‘I am a scythe slicing through that which is abundantly floresecent.’  with the home kill man and his respectful behaviour and cleancut methods. An almost envy at the fact that what he does is permissible for those reasons and certainly more ordered. Did you notice her use of  florescent?  A very appropriate and effective use of an uncommon word.

This poem was published with permission.Thank you Deirdre, it’s been a pleasure.


Deidre Thorsen-Lavery
Deirdre Thorsen-Lavery
Deidre conversing with her horses
Deirdre conversing with her horses

Deidre above with her horses Kruz and Morse and Tinkerbelle, a tamed wild cat. The stables in the picture are historic and were built in the 1880s as part of an early colonial run, Maraekakaho  Station, owned by Sir Donald Mclean.

Biography: Deirdre Thorsen-Lavery lives in rural Hawkes Bay where she paints, writes and looks after horses and donkeys. Horses, art and poetry have always been part of her life. Her grandfather bred horses and her father rode in the cavalry at the beginning of WWII. He recited John Masefield ballads and famous vaudeville poems filling her early life with words.
A painter and art teacher for many years, Deirdre first performed her poetry at the Listener Women’s Book Festival in Wanganui in 1991. She has regularly participated in Hasting Live Poets’ meetings since their inception in 1992.  Her poems have been published in Poetry NZ, Landfall and Takahe.

If you enjoyed this poem as much as I did please feel welcome to leave a comment. It’s always helpful for guest poets to know they are appreciated.

And do head over to the Tuesday Poem hub where Michelle Elvy is this week’s editor. She shares a poem apiece from Mary McCallum and Frankie McMillan. These two were the judges of this year’s Flash Fiction Competition and both write marvellous poetry.