Huberta Hellendoorn

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve
I put candles in the windowsill
For a few hours their shape is safe
Until the sun contorts them.
Midnight is the best
Time to burn candles in a window sill.

Contrasts of hemispheres
come together
In memories and food.
For tea we eat home-made Christmas bread
Thick slices of
Covered with brandied butter and icing sugar.

Darkness brings an image of closeness,
A forgetting of bright sunshine and bended wax
But sometimes memories come back of
Walking my dog in thick snow on Christmas Eve
Going home to
A house with a roaring fire and aniseed milk,
And candles in a windowsill.

Huberta Hellendoorn
December 2012

Shearing Gang

Last night's snow on Central Otago hills
Cheryl Moana Marie roaring
into the spring morning.

No sun-drenched shore but a shearing shed
on a Cromwell farm
men guide blades
while women
strong as amazons
lift fleeces warm from sheep
weather-worn side up
finest merino plucked at the edges
the body-clean white wool spread out.

The team in unison
their bodies in rhythm
moving, turning, lifting, shifting
classing, biffing, throwing into bins to
match the white thin-fleeced strands.

Outside bales are stacked up for foreign shores
while sheep wait.

Huberta Hellendoorn
October 2012

Trebles and Clefs

When I listen to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms
I move to a point where
a musical bar code gives me access
to more than trebles and clefs.
Black and white keys
depict increases and decreases of tempo.
Sharps are cutting while
flats round corners I never knew
existed before.

There are days when I don't want to leave a space between
the sounds, I want to pretend that the sharps
will be as acceptable as the flats,
where bars of high notes take precedence,
where an adagio brings everything in unison.

Huberta Hellendoorn
May 2012