Janet Kenny


Today is a day of butterflies but how can I
write of such things for people in cities, caught
in human closeness. If I ever thought
that they could care that all the air of my
garden is crowded with light uplifting
colour and whiteness, wafting, shifting,
I only need to remember the traffic clanking
and think of the feet on the pavement spanking,
clipping and shuffling, and voices merging,
decibels surging and iron screeching,
thumping and thudding and Muzak reaching
into the buildings where lovers are lunching,
people are buying and selling, munching
something in paper, and rushing and crossing,
pissing and bossing and talking and meeting:
I and my butterflies are retreating.
Once I was part of the clutter and clatter.
I mixed and I struggled and joined the chatter
and oh, how I loved it, the smells and the fashions,
the colour and movement, the joy and passion.
Here with the butterflies in my garden
I bless the living and ask their pardon.

Janet Kenny: Born in New Zealand, worked as singer in Britain, and in anti-nuclear-war politics and general publishing in Australia. Co-edited and wrote Beyond Chernobyl. Poems in The Book of Hope, joint chapbook with Jerry H. Jenkins. Poems in, among others, Umbrella, The Barefoot Muse, The Chimaera, Iambs and Trochees, The Raintown Review.