an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Rachel J Fenton

Auckland, Good Friday

Rachel J Fenton

Published on
page 11 of Tarot #1
(Dec 2020)

The weekend before the fall a scorcher
heralds a clear out. Old clothes belonging
the children, mine and his, provide torture:

a Solomon’s case earmarked for Paying
it Forward North Shore Facebook Group descends
into the garage. Behind the dining

table, a corner by the window end
I call my office, it’s messy. Poets,
feminists, novelists, historians,

stacked like lovers, are compatible yet
compete: Keats’ “Hyperion” in three parts,
though fragmented, makes the appetite whet

for Dante; The White Goddess rubs the heart
of Marilyn Monroe between the slip
cover and hardback of Women in Dark

Times; and Shakespeare and Austen get at it
like Catullus and Clodia, fuckers
in a mansion of one apartment fit

to burst into flames, where every other
woman is named Beatrice. Most small things will
fit in a box, be forgotten. Bother

this red plastic lighter, found on the sill,
pocked and pimpled with barnacles, rust; lives
crusted where raw metal should have its fill

as it rolls over ancient flint and bites
like an eel. Useful. This still occupies.

Rock Oysters

Rachel J Fenton

Published on
page 30 of Tarot #1
(Dec 2020)

Waitematā Harbour mudflats
marked by mangroves.
My thoughts go to Manukau,

my love. Weeks ago, we walked
to the flagpole
at Waitangi. On the way
you reminded me of things
I’d rather forget
like a soon-to-be-ex. Life
has a way of rushing at me
like the unexpected movement
of tide in a peculiarly curved inlet.

You wipe away bird shit
from the binoculars
after which discourse turns
to water divination.

Taking up a length of driftwood
you address me as Gandalf
while I pick a safe
way among the grey
boulders we suspect
were placed there after
the fact. Sitting there,
leaning to shape the water
with your hand, you talk
about rock oysters. How beautiful
you look, I don’t tell you.

Reaching, I encourage you to
let me help you off the rock.