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To my husband of 25 years

February 12, 2018


Once were elvers


Isn't it strange a river

close to the sea appears slow?

Your cheek was smooth when we met

but now I trace the pocks and furrows

with my finger. It’s expanding, the universe;

my arse is getting bigger, but none of us notice.

We travel through galaxies until we find

our burrow in the sea-sand.


I give you this world

in a bowl, here you are.

Filled with eggs of eels, pupil embryos

held in by skin, but I remember

the sashay and flick of your sleek form

under the water of a mountain.


We were married 25 years ago today -- our silver anniversary. I wrote this poem in 2014 and it got published in takahe 84 in 2015, yay! It's about sharing a very long journey together; eels travel 2000 kms from our NZ rivers to Tonga to lay their eggs, and their elvers travel back again to begin their lives. Wow, this gift of a journey, the beauty and excitement of the beginning, collecting memories, losing time, and how lucky we are and how precious it is to have someone we love to go through it all with. That would be someone called Zippy for me, the inspiration for the poem. It was love at first sight ('I want that man!')and thunder bolts and fire crackers in a flat in London in 1988. Our flatmates put rocks under our tent in the back yard, but that didn't deter us. Five years later back in NZ at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo surrounded by our amazing friends and family, we tied the knot. Our big love gave us two little elvers of our own, Rata and Fergus, and now they're 21 and 19. As they branch out on their own journeys, our next adventure into more unexplored territory begins. Scary. Hard work. Exhiliharating. Am I up for it? Yep.




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