Poem – Roma Potiki

Doña Musica 

for Julia Varley


The butterflies that have come out of
the garden of the kaosmos
flutter behind each of the ears of Doña Musica.

Doña Musica is a character and she is not. She is
and she is not. Herself is Julia, and is not. She is the
finger to the lip,
the chagrin of her director and the delight;
she is in the magick, she is wearing a garland
made of the pinpricks of light
that glow through the holes in a paper curtain.

The tapping of her feet is music
and out of chaos the resonance of her little gasps
is heard by each of us.

Her head wrapped with her own hair that is a joy
and a disguise, her hands that become as excited
as the agitated wind carrying a wingèd gift,
her frailty, no, not her frailty, her great resoluteness
to discover herself and then to find the love that we
call humour
or self-knowledge.

Your voice beats in our heads
each calibration of words is music –
ahh eeeee ahh chichichchichichi

She is the secret light
old women find again as they turn to the table of
the hush and quiet of moths, the perseverance of
our last days as though we mattered.

Doña Musica takes off her wig to show us her bones,
roses flower on the grave she has walked
away from, or into.


Roma Potiki


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