an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Donna Faulkner

Kaikoura Coast Post-Quake

Donna Faulkner

Published on
page 28 of Tarot #1
(Dec 2020)

Guttural rumblings
splinters day.
Splicing time. After
and before a

Mountain slabs tumble
tug of war
with rising sea
belching out
chalking rocks, exposed
in blistering sun.
Bathing seals
straddle boulders
strewn upon a shore
that wasn’t a shore
Old junctures
cracked and split
and still embrace
the mountain scarred.
Papier-mâché band aids
heal fractured roads,
the cars choke
the broken link.

A Changing of The Guard

Donna Faulkner

Published on
page 44 of Tarot #1
(Dec 2020)

A first mourning.
Protocols veil
customary expectations.

A   single   tear —
grief’s initiation.
Navigating unfamiliar exequies.
The tear that
dammed an avalanche
somehow yielded.

I imagined that
I had witnessed the

             ———stretching ———membrane
straining to contain
the world.
Swollen heavy with the burden
of what was expected.

A draughty church,
stale and
cold with duty.

And my father in the aisle —
                                    carrying his own.

A solitary tear —
resting visible on his cheek,
his sadness surrendered.


Private grief witnessed
on public display
from the second row
where I stood stiff
behind hard pews.
Senses assaulted
by hollow hymns
the peculiar dust and draft
of occasional religion.

I sought reprieve
complying for respite
these structured rites.
Saturated by eulogies and prayers.
My father’s tear
doused such childish expectations.

I broke protocol,
weeping countless tears —
                          as the mantle passed to him.