Poem — Kerry Popplewell

Reading The Master

(In memory of Stuart Johnston)

 

Last year before you died, you told me

about this book – admired its reticence,

the way it invited complicity,

embraced the challenge of tangle.

 

Trusting your judgement, I’m reading it now

in bed on a hot morning, noting just

how skeletal my feet appear thrust out

on the crumpled sheet in early light.

 

The book is much taken with observing death –

the way we watch others approach it, nudge

closer to usurp their right, while expecting

our own appointment to be deferred.

 

I try to imagine you perusing it

during those last difficult months,

giving it – as you gave each stray

visitor – keen, unsolemn concern.

 

Sooner than narrow your mind’s focus

onto your coming death, you crafted this

into a final gift, a matter for

proximate wonder, an open ending.

 

Kerry Popplewell

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Poem
Search the archive
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Architecture
Art
Autobiography
Awards
Biography
Byline
Children
Comment
Contents
ebooks
Economics
Editorial
Education
Essays
Extract
Fiction
Gender
Graphic novel
Health
History
Imprints
Language
Lecture
Letters
Letters
Literature
Māori
Media
Memoir
Music
Natural History
Non-fiction
Obituaries
Opinion
Pacific
Photography
Plays
Poem
Poetry
Politics & Law
Psychology
Religion
Review
Science
Short stories
Sociology
Sport
Subscribers only
Uncategorized
War
YA Reviewers
Young adults
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above

Search by category

See more