Tuesday Poem: ‘ferry crossing’ by Vivienne Plumb

ferry crossing

the French boys deal cards on top of their mother’s samsonite
overnighter/ the Arahura pushes out from the Wellington wharf
and leaves the corduroy-rippled hills behind/ the ferry rocks and
rolls and some people look greener than Cook Strait/ how are you?
better?
well i threw up and now i feel okay/ good as gold have a hot
chip
/ it is calmer once the boat hits the Sounds/ tuatara-crouching
land with a vertebrae of fir trees along its back/the clouds move
like floating countries overhead/ the French wipe their white
plastic deck chairs ooh la la those dirty gulls have been at it again/
you can taste the salt on your lips as we turn for Picton/ red roof
jetty chimneysmoke

This sweet prose poem is from Vivienne Plumb’s latest collection, The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons (Seraph Press, 2011). The collection is comprised of thirty nine prose poems that “celebrate and satirises” New Zealand icons such as The Warehouse, white baiting, and Crown Lynn. I thought “ferry crossing” was an appropriate Tuesday Poem for this time of year, and it was one of my favourites from the collection.

Read another of Vivienne’s poems that featured as a Tuesday Poem.

Listen to Vivienne read her poems on the radio.

For other Tuesday Poems, check out the hub.


3 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: ‘ferry crossing’ by Vivienne Plumb

  1. Oh, I love Vivienne Plumb’s prose poems, Sarah – such a delight to find one posted this week. I find the forward-slashes to denote punctuation or end of lines really interesting – I was thinking about the comparison with last week’s Paula Green’s prose poetry that does away with this completely. Got me thinking, anyway!

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