is from Los Angeles and lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand. She is a science editor by trade and has published poems in print journals in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as in internet journals such as Blackbird
, The Ghazal Page
, Deep South
and The HyperTexts
She’s co-author of Millionaire’s Shortbread
(University of Otago, 2003); her book Trace Fossils
is in recovery after a last-minute funding claw-back.
—Back to Milestones Contents/Issue Links—
Squaring the Egg
Elizabeth, Lizzie, Betsy and Beth,
all went out to find a bird’s nest
they found a nest with five eggs in,
they all took one and left four in.
I. The movie version
The Winter Egg was
created by Fabergé
as an Easter gift from
Tsar Nicholas II
to his Tsarina.
It was three inches high
made of white jade
rimed with diamonds
balanced on an outcrop of
quartz and rock crystal.
When the Egg was opened,
a blood-red Firebird
to the roof of the audience chamber.
The Bird circled and bated
against the blue and gilt panelling
until it fell
to the floor, whence
it was retrieved by a footman
and restored to Her Imperial Highness.
The Winter Egg has not been seen since 1918.
It is feared lost.
II. The seabird’s tale
The guillemot lives in arctic cold.
She lays two eggs which cannot roll.
She has no nest.
She lives on cliffs.
The eggs accommodate to this:
They’re shaped like frozen human tears
prepared to thaw
when warmth appears.
III. Diary note
You can’t make an omelet without
doing you know what, and
that afternoon, we were so busy
doing you know what
we lost track of time until the doorbell
rang, and it was your mate Kevin
with a 6-pack and a happy smile
so I said come on in, Kevin, I sighed,
he’s about to turn on the sports channel, so
Kevin did and that was the rest of
Well, thought I, them’s the breaks
At seven p.m. I made
cheese omelets for the three of us
Very nice, very nice, you said.
Kevin went home at midnight.
And so to bed.
IV. Oral history
Teaching my granny
to suck eggs
my granny sucks
she was taught
teachering on the brink
of an eggshell
indeed, she herself was taut
in the gran old fashion
[Originally published in Other Voices]
his poem is a milestone because I had only been writing poems for a year or two, because it was my first appearance in an established journal (not to mention an overseas journal!), and because it was my first exploration of combining different voices and personas. I had enormous fun putting it together, and I still feel pleased