A baby

I want to make a baby out of one peach and one prickle.
I want to use the kitchen sponge, sticky rice and a rubber band.
I want to use the coffee grinder.

I want to make a baby out of concrete and a jackhammer.
I want to use the oil on the driveway.
I want to use rainwater, a cigarette butt and a milk bottle.

I want to make a baby out of wet sand and a nappy.
I want to use micro-plastics and plasma.
I want to use cockles and cable-ties and chip packets and pipis.

I want the baby to wake up and cry out.
I want the baby to cry out.
I want to make a baby.

Photo by Duncan Green

Rata Gordon was born in Kaikohe in 1988, and now lives on Waiheke Island. Many of her poems have found homes in literary journals in New Zealand, as well as in the USA and UK. She is plodding away at her first collection.

Rata particularly enjoys creating beautiful messes in the spaces between dance, poetry, visual art and theatre. She leads a youth development project called Express Yourself promoting good mental health through arts practice. She also teaches jump-into-the-fire-type community creative writing classes, and Open Floor movement meditation.

Rata comments: ‘I wrote “A Baby” while living in Mount Eden and working on urban stream restoration projects. Aside from the obvious maternal impulse, I was faced with the grimmer details of Auckland’s streams and city beaches, and I wanted to metabolise those images in some way. So I started dreaming up a series of sculptures made from washed up nappies etc. Thankfully, those sculptures never got made, and instead a poem was born.’

Poem source details >

Ratas website