Arc Publications logo

50 years at the cutting edge of poetry publishing

“A meeting point for poets of all latitudes”
— VĂ­ctor Rodríguez Núñez

C. K. Stead, from Straw Into Gold

2 (from Twenty-Two sonnets)

Rain, and a flurry of wind shaking the pear's white blossom
Outside our kitchen window and tossing the lassiandra

As it did that morning four-year-old Michele Fox
Sat at our table painting shapes she said were flowers

While we listened to the news: a coaster missing up North,
A flare sighted in the night over Pandora Bank,

Radio contact lost — the ship's name, Kaitawa.
That was eight years ago. On the bus north

To Reinga and Spirits' Bay the driver remembers it —
Not a man saved, not even a body recovered,

Only smashed timber scattered down miles of coast
To tell how quickly it can come. I kept that painting —

It was the world she saw believing she had father.
He was third engineer, a Scotsman, a good neighbour lost.