Mary Cresswell: Two Poems

Tonight Has a Thousand Eyes

A moon path connects us with the island.
Its light follows me as I turn my head.

Reflections bounce off basalt cliffs.
Drowned valleys swarm with shadows.

The generators kick in at sunset. Night
watchers begin to chatter and beep.

Squid boats glare across the bight.
LEDs argue: red, white, red, white.

The sound of the drone opens black windows.
Its dark mnemonic pinpoints one island.

Fishes scatter in the spill of the moon path.
The shadow circles, watching us watch.


South Sea Ghazal

There’s some funny winds out there, says the boatman.
He pockets his BlackBerry and takes the helm.

Contour troughs of rain collect like ponds overhead.
They’re too thick to see through, too thin to drink.

When the Japanese were here, they built a shrine
from the bleak white stones overlooking the reef.

The seagulls’ bones are like pumice, filling the lagoon
with thoughts of the floating world.

Grey-green children howl on the shoreline;
the waves are their heartbeats crossing the bar.


Art Information

  • "Moonlight" © Hans Kylberg; Creative Commons License.


Mary CresswellMary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand's Kapiti Coast. She is a retired copy editor and took up writing poetry about a dozen years ago. Her third book, Trace Fossils, was published in early 2011.

For more information about Mary, please visit her profile on the New Zealand Book Council website.

Mary's poem "Gigabyte" appeared in TW's January/February 2012 issue as part of a spotlight on math poetry. The May/June 2012 issue featured “Aftershock,” “Unfinished Business,” and “Finish Line” ("Mary Cresswell: Three Poems").



Add new comment