This poem is taken from Stand 233, 20(1) May - July 2022.

Jilly O'Brien Two Poems
Johnny Jones

At Matanaka the buildings face the sea, all five coming as a kitset shipped across the Tasman in the Magnet by a whaler turned coloniser with steam ship interests who saved all of the people of Dunedin from starvation by not raising the prices of food from his farms on his land that Tuhawaiki sold him. I know this because it says so in curlicue writing on the Heritage New Zealand sign positioned on the headland with a view over the sea. A weathervane turns atop the loft of the harness room, quivering and uncertain where to point next as I retrace my steps through the bluegums, kicking up names never written on fragments of bark with salt water. Behind me Piwakawaka searches in the back eddies of dust for any clues about those who have always been hard to see and hard to hear due to sea frets that roll in so thick and dark they appear like firesmoke and not all the people of Dunedin breathe out, but some of them do

The home visit

Hanging from the ceiling
where the draught blows through
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