Well, you can imagine my surprise -- consternation, almost: let's be honest -- when I got home this week to find Theresia's Christmas card waiting for me unopened. Not only a card but a copy of the latest Pohutukawa Press publication. Not only a book but a little poem, too.
Here's the poem:
is this kirihimete kirisimasi christmas?
(for jack ross)
from the green sea against the grey sky
a band of light arises
red orange yellow green blue indigo violet
which the rain erases
from the land of the living
against the world of the dying
a voice of thanks arises
for those gifts sought and needed
for these lessons in avoidance and remedies
which the refusal to accept gratitude erases
but i do not care
you are you
i am me
sing I will
'thank you again'
this is christmas!
(copyright The Pohutukawa Press, 2006)
There's a slight sting in the tail there, I fear. Maybe a hint of admonition. I guess I'd like to talk the poem over with her now -- maybe I'm misreading. But all too late, unfortunately. Now it'll have to speak for itself.
That last gift of hers also enables me to put up a list (as complete as I can make it, at any rate), of the publications Theresia put out through her two imprints (you know us academics love to make lists -- and Theresia was no exception):
The Pohutukawa Press
Soft Leaf Falls Of The Moon (1st ed. 1996, reprint misnamed 2nd ed. 1997, 3rd ed. 1999, 4th ed. 2003). (Apirana Taylor).
nothing is as physical as a poem (1997). (Robin McConnell).
City of Strange Brunettes (1998). (Jack Ross).
dreaming of flight (2002). (Dreu Harrison).
Tagata Kapakiloi: restless people (2004). (John Puhiatau Pule).
passages (2005). (Andre Antao).
Matua: parent (2006). (Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua).
Apirana Taylor’s two plays in one volume Kohanga and Whaea Kairau: mother hundred eater (1999).
Iti Te Kopara: the bellbird is small (2000). (Apirana Taylor).
Christian Gray New Zealand
COLLECTIONS OF POEMS:
That was Then (1998). (Lee Dowrick).
Pieces of Air (1999). (Alison Denham).
when the sea goes mad at night (1999-2000). (ed. Theresia Liemlienio Marshall).
Twelve books in all -- a substantial legacy.
We're planning a celebration of Theresia's life and achievements to be held at Massey Albany sometime in March. If you'd be interested in coming along, or sharing your own memories of her -- either as colleague, friend, or teacher -- please get in touch.