Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Catherine Mair & Patricia Prime: SUE & KIT'S ANGELS

You can never tell what's at the end of a road until you reach it. Sue's place is a revelation. The dishevelled angel on top of a totem pole is one of many surprises.

Sue and her husband are working on a book about cemetery angels; taking photographs, tracing inscriptions, tracking down sculptors, discovering the provenance of the statues.

childlike angel
face buried in a hand -
her matted stone hair

So many angels. Their mute stories are of drowning and death. Particularly poignant are the children.

against sunset
an angel points to the sky

Kit plays a DVD of angel photographs they have gathered from cemeteries throughout New Zealand . Many of the cemeteries have been neglected and Sue is part of a conservationist group which aims to restore them to their former state.

two little boys
drowned in the same accident -
one statue pristine
the other allowed
to gather golden lichen

An arm stretches up and fingers curl over the cross's horizontal member. Another statue is even more beautiful festooned in cobwebs. But it's the soles of two feet, black with age, beneath a draped hem which convey most.

still perfect
an angel's wing, a dimpled arm
and a rainbow

by Catherine Mair and Patricia Prime
Katikati, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
and Auckland, New Zealand

No comments: