Cilla McQueen

Words at the edge of the mirror

awake still hearing the dream
tell of that pearly harbour
seashell columella and clarinet amber
joining the tendrils almost exactly

in balance, scroll apart and together
dimensions minuscule impossible to enter
but through some prime harmonic chance
as navigation wrinkles bounce light ways

aslant, tessellate, together and apart
in sunshot deep as lief I'd risk
the ease in ink to shadow-plait my wits —
elapse a minim — in the cloud garden

Cilla McQueen (b.1949.) is the New Zealand Poet Laureate 2009-11. Recipient of many awards and fellowships for her work, Cilla received an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of Otago in 2008 and in 2010 the Prime Minister’s Prize for Literary Achievement in Poetry. She lives and writes in Bluff, in the south of the South Island.

This sequence first appeared on the N. Z. Poet Laureate website. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa and the Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua.
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