Mary Cresswell




The iris climbed its stalk—it took a day or two
to petition from the dirt expectances of blue—
it scrambled farther on—incapable to hold
ungrounded thoughts before it leaped
to witless white and gold.


In the first light, golden freesias
              get the idea first
collapsing like handfuls of candles
              down dull terra cotta
The cat slinks, invisible,
              beneath still-mysterious trees
The farther east he goes
              the more ginger he becomes.


The last blue starfish climbed Mount Fuji
following three brass bells

Waving aside all offers of help
it passed through the curtain

Beads shivered as it went, then fell
still as snowflakes on the reef.



Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on the coast north of Wellington, New Zealand. Her second book, Trace Fossils, has just completed its own pilgrimage and will be published by Steele Roberts Ltd (Wellington) early in 2011.

Cresswell writes: “Three fragments which got nowhere on their own—an experiment towards Emily Dickinson’s diction; a cat-assisted meditation watching colour appear at dawn; finally some weird echinoderm Zen, since I am profoundly fascinated by the blue starfish you see in the tropics. They got together by accident while I was reorganising stuff—then they worked together. Maybe it’s the colours?”