At a Colin McCahon exhibition

Thank you.

At last is seen
what should have been seen
before: art is language,
artist, translator.

Leave that.

Take fourteen,
take it to the power of one,
to the power of the pain of one,
Ah, see — that is The One.

Move on.

Now that you have gone
beyond the fourteenth station,
(the last one, thank God)
you must know: will Elias come
to save us and if he does,
will it change anything,
will it change us?

JC Sturm was born in Taranaki but has spent most of her life in Wellington and the Kapiti Coast. She began writing in the 1940s when her poems appeared in student newspapers and magazines and was one of the first Maori women in print. Since the 1950s her stories, articles, reviews and poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas. Dedications (1996) won the Montana Poetry Honour Award in 1997, and in 2003 JC Sturm (Jacquie Baxter) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature by Victoria University of Wellington.

Sturm comments: ‘My first husband James K Baxter and I had a long association with Colin McCahon.’

Poem source details >



Steele Roberts Publishers
New Zealand Book Council writer file
Trout 14: interview