like rain the thunder

inside the tall gothic church
a man kisses the pieta

max is at the organ
composing a creation hymn

called apple and snow
all night the wind

wraps itself around the city
like a bell that does

not ring in danger but prayer
and genya’s voice

falls from a clock
as she calls her children

kazia, stefan, hendrich, janek 
her hand closes around

a winter apple
and somebody probably kazia

puts the kettle on
then all four children

gather their shadows
and become birds

LISTEN to ‘like rain the thunder’ by Kerrin P. Sharpe

Kerrin P. Sharpe is a teacher of creative writing. She completed Bill Manhire’s Original Composition class at Victoria University of Wellington (1976).  Her own writing has flowered again over the last two years and she has been published widely including  in: The PressTakaheSnorkel 5 & 6, Turbine 07, Bravado 13, Poetry NZ, the New Zealand Listener and Junctures (July 2009). In 2008, she was awarded the New Zealand Post Creative Writing Teacher’s Award by the International Institute of Modern Letters and will be attending the Sydney Writers’ Festival in May 2009.

Sharpe comments: ‘A friend told me that when her mother died she heard her voice in a clock. I was fascinated by this and when I began writing the poem, I found myself back in St Mary of The Angels in Wellington. I could even hear the late Maxwell Fernie at the organ. It was very windy and I thought of the bell at St Gerard’s Monastery (above Oriental Bay in Wellington). The St Gerard’s bell became the prayer in the poem. Genya, the woman in the poem, was dying and held an apple, her link with creation and her Church. As she calls her children for the last time, their names become a glimpse into their lives without her.’

Poem source details >



Snorkel 6
Snorkel 5
Turbine 07:
Takahe 61 and 63
Poetry NZ 37