Kerrin P. Sharpe


flame in the cup

when you wake
your name enters
the room as pollen

you know the
monks are praying

hundreds of bees
are in the painting

and an old monk
is closing a hive
his head a row of buttons

the bees dream
for the monks

and when you
drink the mead
you remember nothing


In Memory of Mary Jane Bennell
(New Zealand’s first woman lighthouse keeper)

I watch myself
in a paua shell
and paint the patterns
of light, the memory of tide.

I climb the stairs
checking the oil store
imagine the reef
the harsh shouting
of wood on rock.

I drown in light
not water like my husband.
The lamp burns the night
where tomorrow begins.

In the floating
face of the sea
the days of my years
stretch out to
the headland.

A seagull stares
in my window,
his eyes two blue eggs.


Using Air and Wind

flight is a word
full of wings

1487. Leonardo da Vinci
is drawing a machine
with strap-on wooden wings,
weights and wire

a small seat
holds the pilot
the legs sit
in two steel cages

there are four ropes
like reins
but no feathers

a sparrow lands
in the garden



Kerrin P. Sharpe is a teacher of creative writing and has recently returned to her own writing, now that her four children are older. She is a contributor to Snorkel #5 and Takahe 61. Of ‘Flame in the Cup’, Sharpe writes: “This poem is based on a picture I saw of a group of bee-keeping monks walking across a field.” Of ‘In Memory of Mary Jane Bennett’: “I’m fascinated by light-houses and in this poem explored the idea of living in one through someone who had.” Of ‘Using Air and Wind’: “I wanted to write a poem based on a set of scientific drawings. I had in mind an early hot air balloon but this poem emerged.”