MEDB CHARLETON grew up in Sligo in the North West of Ireland. She is a recent graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington and moves between Ireland and her adoptive New Zealand.

*   *   *

       Materialism

       Broken bottles by the railway tracks
       by the lemon tree, dark leaves, yellow fruit.

       Wind throws darts across the harbour –
       ink blue, horse white, grey as tin roofs.

       Superabundant city, rustling up receipts
       at the depot where memory serves

       attendees of desks, the high-rise,
       retinues who saunter, sob, stash bravery

       on streets decorated with trees, roosts of starlings
       beseeching each fell swoop of light.

       Half hour for a dream, impromptu lesson
       on the many faces of worship,

       turn of events by a window chain,
       manikins in citrus smocks,

       where someone has had enough.
       In the outskirts, night-scented

       rhododendrons make it to the inner room,
       outlasting sleep after sleep.