November 25, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Jo-Ella Sarich



The Changing of the Guards



They’re painting the local housing estate

scaffolding like match sticks waiting to burn

people call this the Bronx – I don’t know why

About time they did this,

he says as we pass by

I guess it’ll be up for months

to come

he says.


The court decision came out today,

it don’t bode well for Mrs May

Hurry, run and get your washing in

‘cos it’s about to rain.


They’re painting the local housing estate,

grey scaffolding like withered limbs of trees

diminishing in the Autumn breeze

they haven’t seen a drop of paint yet,

parched throats yawning

at the heavy sky.


I hear they use bamboo on

those great big skyscapers in Hong Kong

they say that it’s much lighter

than iron, and just as strong

he says.


The scaffolding still stands like sentries

across the rows of spartan serfs

blank-facing with Euclidean ease

our footsteps echo on the earth,

toys blowing like litter

in the breeze.


My husband reminds me they elected the Nazis

and the peasantry wrought out the Ustaše

I always thought it was the rule of law

that saved us from our worst excesses.

But all this caustic window dressing

is headed for the winter’s bite

hate frozen-marching up its alleys,

hearths dwindling in the dead of night.


I fear the facade of the ugly idea

as much as the idea itself

or maybe it’s not the idea I fear

but the degraded

collective consciousness

she says.









Take up Arms



It was time to murder peace,

he said, with eyes caving like sandstripped windows

Hollow is the sound of names that say their own name

like echoes of wolfskins in a threadbare forest.


I would like to have Michelle Obama’s arms.


I would like to stand upon a pulpit and shout at the stars and the sun

Until cosmology and matter became a question of reason and not morality

I would like to raise an army of

a thousand horses

that could march across oceans

like a brazen flood.


But only if I could have those arms.


Those arms are like cedar

stripped of all that makes a person gammy at the knees

I would like to renounce war and talk about how

chains were loosed like a slim-fitting garter

and how we broke off the serpent upon the camel’s back.


My arms are like cane

that breaks the back of animals

but is slim and weary in itself

If peace was my enemy,

it would be a long day

at the sharemarket

before I would bring home a big win.

If I had Michelle Obama’s arms,

I would wrestle a dinosaur

and beat it with my bare hands.











Jo-Ella Sarich

Jo-Ella Sarich lives in Petone, New Zealand beside the beautiful Wellington harbour. She has a husband and two small girls, and has recently started writing again in her spare time. One of her poems will be appearing in the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook.

1 Comment

  1. James mclain - is it poetry November 27, at 06:04

    I Am James - Poem by Is It Poetry I try to do the right thing, because it is right. Morally from good book's made thus. Like Paul, I to was once in Florida's prison's. I have no disire to have my head cut off nor boiled alive in oil. Just for, the ignorant amusement of Trump, my neighbor. Reading a book by Hitler, called fear. Instead of the, Art of War. Is It Poetry


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