Susan Jacobs lives in Auckland. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Penguin, 2003, 2012) about the Italian-New Zealand connection in WW2, and has worked as a lecturer, teacher, editor and book reviewer. She currently teaches ESOL to adults.
In my poems I try to express the power and, ultimately, emotional truth of experiences rooted in ordinary life. For me they can encompass love, loss, motherhood, relationships, friendship, living in Italy, the landscape, ageing and death.
Frail traveller, a gossamer thread
floats you between two worlds.
They say reality’s the cornflakes
you pour each morning into
your children’s bowls.
Inside your head you know better.
Shimmering auras and sonorous voices
propel the wings of your mind.
We see the heavy makeup and spiky heels –
sluttish and ravishing.
You laugh when men say how much
and take them home for a cup of tea.
Their features fade into the night
like the windswept chimes of a church bell
you hear somewhere
The Prodigal Father
Before you leave New Zealand for good,
we four eat pizza at Pane e Vino.
We’re in love again,
So nuclear we almost implode.
Years of accusations, of sullen absence
Things’ll be different now you’re really leaving –
Distance measured in kilometres, not silence.
Our laughing daughters gesticulate, speak Italian.
You listen – affectionate, seductive –
I could fall for your dark charm again.
We bask in the amore
that resides like Vesuvius, ready to explode
And light up our world … then destroy it.