Amy Brown



I try to smell the Buddleia of a garden
in a poem, full of lilac trees and bees.
The poet smokes in an old T-shirt,
waiting for her house paint to dry.

I could give up the garden
when I am told to clear my mind
but the word Buddleia stays,
heavy and smooth, sinking down.

Wrapped around it, other rougher memories
sink too. Something about gooseberries
a scraped knee, cigarette smoke,
hail, a dead pet, jealousy.

Sarasveti admits that thoughts aren’t bad
in themselves—let them grow then drift away,
if you don’t hold on,
the words will leave you.

Last week she told me to empty myself
of all unnecessary consciousness.
She also kept calling the big toe a thumb.
I only busy myself, sweeping

all my lazy thoughts away
with a deep golden breath,
because it sounds relaxing.
I don’t believe the air can reach

my fingers and feet,
or that channeling warmth
to my back will relieve pain,
but I do believe in the game—

the garden of forgotten memory.
The over-grown Buddleia,
its blood-coloured flowers (I assume)
opening and closing.



Amy Brown completed her MA in Creative Writing last year, at the International Institute of Modern Letters. She is currently the books editor for The Lumière Reader (, and is studying honours in English literature at Victoria University, Wellington.