sometimes / I read the magnet on the fridge / with the screaming door / skid over the emergency instructions / reaching for sugar / in sticky Perspex / sometimes see the worry clock - really a stethoscope? / it’s lunchtime / in the kitchen with the yellow bench / plates / were they patterned blue ? / of rosy baked beans / when my mother rises and staggers / calls my father’s name, twice / why do I remember twice? / sometimes it’s a day with a wide sky / rocks slipping underfoot / lurching beside the grey ocean calm / remembering my knee is driftwood / sometimes push up the hill with sides like a pudding bowl / swim in blue water under the high roof / steady dog head / I believe swimming counts more / in the dark room her head tosses / side to side / wonder why I went back to work / was someone kind? / sometimes stride to the furthest bus stop / swinging my arms / stuff my mouth with lettuce / copy quotes out of context / old ghosts come instead / there is less life to lead / sometimes I’m a stubborn beetle on a wall / always falling down / my mother pale in hospital / someone says she’s got a strong will / is she gripping a rope back to us? / or I read the world wrong / can’t speak / wonder if I’m living the life I want / lime tea steaming in white cup / far off hills regenerating bush / sky outlining lips / or I’m in a cupboard / face turned away / sometimes grinding up the big hill / breath in my lungs / look out on yet more hills / distant houses / sometimes/ tiny kitchens

Mary Macpherson is a Pōneke Wellington poet and photographer. She completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington in 2006. Her first solo collection Social Media was published by The Cuba Press in 2019. Other publications include Millionaire’s Shortbread, a joint poetry collection published by Otago University Press in 2003 and a chapbook the inland eye, published by Pemmican Press in 1998. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies over the years. She is a member of the Wellington woman writers’ collective ‘Meow Gurrrls’. Her poem 'Stroke' first appeared in the 2021 Friday Poem section of The Spinoff.

Mary also works as a photographic artist and publishes photobooks, the latest being a limited edition work, of the hill. Her work has been exhibited at dealer and public galleries and is in many public collections.

​Poem source details >


Mary Macpherson's poetry website

Mary Macpherson's photography website

The Cuba Press Author page

Instagram: @macpherson.mary