My Poem “Into the Unknown” published in Catalyst 18.

My poem Into the Unknown has been published in Catalyst 18. Thanks to the editor Doc Drumheller.

Into the Unknown
i.m. Gertrude Fisher

old ruru
standing guard

over our totara
now ending

fly through
the tall forest

to wherever
it leads....

as you finally

crying mokopuna
surround you

Joanne Fisher

For those of you unfamiliar with some of the words:

Ruru (also known as a morepork) is a native owl.

Totara is a native tree to New Zealand. In this poem I’ve used it to symbolise the family (whanau).

Mokopuna is the Maori word for grandchildren.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher


15 thoughts on “My Poem “Into the Unknown” published in Catalyst 18.

  1. Like Dave Williams, I had to look up some unfamiliar words: ruru, totara, mokopuna: but all three have ambiguity about them. While I appreciate that the published version in a book at wouldn’t be able to do that (although perhaps footnotes could be employed), I’m a little surprised that you didn’t take advantage of hyperlinks here, to offer clarity.

    (My take on the meaning is that it describes the final flight and last gasp of an old owl… maybe?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not into explaining my poetry, but for me it’s about my grandmother’s death. Hence why it is dedicated to her. She collected owls, so I have likened her to an old owl (ruru is also known as a morepork). The totara is a symbol of the family (a wee bit of poetic license), and the mokopuna (grandchildren) is myself, my siblings, and my cousins that were all present at her death. That’s what it means to me, however feel free to find some other meaning in it if you want.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think poetry should be didactic. I like to leave room for the reader to explore and to have their own communication with the poem. At least my better poems do that…


      2. Thanks for taking the time to explain, I appreciate it! And I am truly sorry if I offended you, that most definitely wasn’t my intent.

        I haven’t written a great deal of poetry myself (I’m not a poet, I’m just a wannabe) but I’m always happy to discuss the themes of my feeble, sorry efforts. To me, poetry is a means of communication with others, yet your explanation suggests that this poem is more of a personal note to yourself. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong, we’re all different!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well I guess it could be said the poem is an attempt to contextualise the death of someone close.

        Believe me, I wasn’t offended.

        If other people can derive some other meaning from the poem that makes sense to them, then I am fine with that.

        Liked by 1 person

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