Belinda Diepenheim


Past the Time of Flowers

Time stiffens like hemp rope
around the modern religion that avoids
Our rituals are a smoke screen
bypassing the hub of memory
as we avoid its pit of
wood rot and distortions,
those pared down artefacts of pain.

Within this vacancy attention wanders,
a magpie looking for
the clarity of the new, the iconic
instant to hold still;
like the clarity of your
face, cheekbones moth wings.

Our conversations
threaded the needles of our voices,
with red cotton, stitching us to each other with words;
us, history, mercy, love;
they unwrapped me from the old bare bonds.
Your skin became home,
a solid beaded rosary station.
We have left behind the catechism
of words and their façade of letters.

These final years, past the time of flowers,
our bodies ripen and line,
rounding within the taut, flat hours,
age a silk parachute,
death the breeze.


Our House

Hills hid the no exit street
great flood banks between the sea
and our gorse sectioned clay slope,
the house a pale green square
Lip without expression.
Our kitchen, facing sheer bank,
steamed in the rolling boil
of crayfish dying in pots,
my mother dunking their heads
with a wooden spoon, her eyes
and skin damp with fishy air,
her back to me, the sloped yard,
the world stretched like elastic
while cicadas throbbed in the
gorse, their pods popcorn bursting
by our chicken coops while she
lifted the pot and drained the
orange bodies in the sink,
her under arms white as teeth,
her eyes reflecting the room
and me as tiny dull blanks
that she had worn down at the
heels. Useless to escape
in and leaking in the rain.



Belinda Diepenheim lives in Ashhurst, a village close to Palmerston North. She has had poems published in various New Zealand magazines and ezines.