Tuesday Poem – Still Home by Carol Don Ercolano

This place
salt-distance from the sea
sustained by hills
and the sky’s wide smile

where the wind from the north
makes a random raid
and the southern gale
is trapped by the tallest trees

where strands of memory are stored
in the threadling song of birds
tight-knotted to withstand
the scissoring of time.

Loosen the gathered years
spread each fold to reveal
the little beaded milestones
the smaller tragedies.

See the toddlers’ unstayed steps
turn to childhood leaps
each first inglorious flight
grow to a graceful soar.

Now far-settled, they return
but still call this place


Poet’s Comment: ‘Inspiration for this poem,’ says Carol, ‘was the desire to enter the Upper Hutt Poetry Competition which is held annually to celebrate National Poetry Day. The theme of Home made me analyse what this place I’ve lived in now for 44 years means to me. The poem was shortlisted.’

Bio in Brief: Carol Don Ercolano is a Nelson poet with strong ties to Golden Bay, through caving and a family bach. She is a founding member of Nelson writing group, The Boulder Writers, and has been published in various anthologies and magazines  in New Zealand and overseas. Most recently she was included in Horizons published by the Top of the South branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors in 2013. She has also edited and compiled a number of anthologies, the last one being Boulder Writers 3 published by Boulder Press. She enjoys the analysis and appreciation of poetry as much as she enjoys writing it herself. Carol co-runs Nelson Live Poets and also runs the Poetry in the Window Scheme with the Nelson Provincial Museum. She was Poetry Judge for the Bay Lit Awards in 2013.

Carol don Ercolano 2013
Carol don Ercolano 2013

I have used several poems set in the Nelson Bays area recently, so it’s great to add Carol’s to the list. Still Home was the featured poem for the August /September 2014 in the Nelson City Council magazine, Mudcakes and Roses. Carol hasn’t mentioned that she is also one of that rare group of people who can memorise long poems and perform them onstage without missing a link, or, that for many years she was involved with the Nelson Operatic Society, where she met her husband Keith. She particularly loved Gilbert and Sullivan. Carol is the guest writer at the Nelson NZSA writer’s retreat in the Rai Valley, this November. She will be a very approachable writing resource.She also belongs to the Off Your Rockers Choir, a choir based on the Young at Heart Choir of America.¬† They are a lot of fun to watch and recently did a Flash Mob performance in a local Nelson supermarket. Carol can be seen on the right wearing¬† a red tanktop over a grey/blue skivvy.

Click here to watch them.

And now please return to the Tuesday Poem Hub Page where this week’s editor Helen Rickerby features a poem by Anna Jackson, called ‘I, Clodia’ – ‘which (she says) takes as its subject and narrator, one Clodia Metelli, an ancient Roman woman who was (almost certainly) the lover of the poet Catullus.’

And do check out the wonderful offerings from the other Tuesday Poets in the left-hand sidebar.