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

<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>***</P> <P>This poem 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. Eight poets have written poems inspired by McCahon’s work: Bill Manhire, Dinah Hawken, Hinemoana Baker, Ashleigh Young, James Brown, Vincent O'Sullivan, John Pule, and Paula Green. More poems from the series will be published in the next issue of <EM>Off the Wall</EM>. You can hear a number of the poets read at the McCahon Series: Poetry Reading on Saturday 15 March 2014, introduced by poet, artist, and curator Greg O’Brien. Join Greg for a poetry workshop inspired by Colin McCahon’s <EM>Walk (Series C)</EM> on Sunday 16 March 2014. Visit our events page for more details.</P>

Colin McCahon, Walk (Series C), 1973, acrylic on hessian,
Purchased 2004.
© Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust
Full object info is available on