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Ghosting

A poem by James Brown in response to Colin McCahon’s <EM>Walk (Series C)</EM>


<P>This poem, recorded on 15 March 2014, is part of the Walk with Me: McCahon Series of events at Te Papa. Colin McCahon is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated artists. His sweeping multi-canvas work <EM>Walk (Series C)</EM> (1973) is, in part, an imagined walk along Muriwai beach with the New Zealand poet James K Baxter. Te Papa invited poet, artist, and curator Gregory O’Brien to select eight poets to write poems inspired by McCahon’s work: Bill Manhire, Dinah Hawken, Hinemoana Baker, Ashleigh Young, James Brown, Vincent O'Sullivan, John Pule, and Paula Green. </P> <P><BR><STRONG>Ghosting</STRONG></P> <P>A pale day, lightning<BR>when you walk among it.</P> <P>Sometimes I give in<BR>and try to find you.</P> <P>I trace and retrace my steps.<BR>But you are nowhere.</P> <P>‘Go away,’ I tell you.<BR>It’s one scene</P> <P>after another, one<BR>sheet of paper after</P> <P>another, one<BR>point after another</P> <P>point. Then <BR>I am beside myself.</P> <P>You are beside me<BR>then.</P> <P><BR>© James Brown</P>

More media

James Brown (left) with Gregory O’Brien and Ashleigh Young at the McCahon Series: Poetry Reading. Photograph by Michael Hall, Te Papa, 2014

James Brown (left) with Gregory O’Brien and Ashleigh Young at the McCahon Series: Poetry Reading. Photograph by Michael Hall, Te Papa, 2014