Penny Somervaille

posted by Michele
Letter to a Dead Poet

Kia Ora Hone,

Do you remember the night we met?
In Grey Lynn? At Jan’s house in Cooper St?
You said to me that there was no point me keeping my poems in a box under the bed.
You come back here tomorrow, you said,
you bring your poems with you,
and you read them to me.

No-one disobeyed an order like that from you, Hone.

I brought my poems the next night, even though I wasn’t invited,
and I did read them to you.
You listened, you really listened, and
you said, read them again,
and you said, send them off to so-and-so, tell them I told you to,
tell them I said they must publish them.

Well, I didn’t do that, didn’t have that much courage.
But, Hone, you know, you started something for me,
it’s because of you that I’m doing all those papers at Uni,
it’s all your fault that I stand up and read places,
meet so many people I love.

For a few months I saw you around,
drove you down from Shirley’s place at Pakiri once,
discovered for myself the warmth and charm that drew us to you, made us laugh.
Made me feel I was more than I thought I could be.
Two or three years later,
after you moved to Kaka Pt,
I saw you again,
you didn’t remember me,
I will always remember you,
you are like the rain
I can feel you in the air.

Farewell Hone, Arohanui, Penny

No comments: