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Photo: Getty Images
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BooksSeptember 18, 2020

The Friday Poem: Elegy for God’s Own Country by Emer Lyons

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

A new poem from Dunedin poet Emer Lyons.

Elegy for God’s Own Country

i too remember the sea of my insides waving at my face
but why would anyone want to tame a magpie?

it was during the gorse burn
the intimacy of your hands as delicate as with new born lambs

i’m afraid of the loneliness of poetry without you—
what if inside is more drizzle than rain?

there were days before when danger was a lake of cold water
and to think i was afraid of jumping in

your Dad’s not getting any better
people are always telling me things i already know


Emer is appearing at the New Zealand Young Writers Festival in Dunedin next week (September 24-27), which includes poets essa may ranapiri, Rebecca Hawkes, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Faith Wilson, Whina Pomana, Erik Kennedy and Jordan Hamel. Visit the NZYWF website for the full programme, including livestream details for many of the events.

Submissions to the Friday Poem are welcome and will be open until the end of September. Please send your poems to

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