Lindsay Rabbitt On The Road With ‘Prayers For the Living and The Dead’

Many people in Kapiti and Aotearoa know our local writer, poet, historian and performer Lindsay Rabbitt, writes Gill Ward.

“His reviews, arts journalism, essays and poetry have appeared in a wide range of publications,” she says.

“These include the Listener, Dominion Post, Landfall Journal, Landfall Review Online and Poetry NZ Yearbook. 

He performs his poems with the spoken word/song outfit Waiata and the Word

His new publication

Lindsay is about to launch his  new Poetry Collection Prayers for the Living and Dead.  

My Mother, Mrs Central Otago’

As well as this collection Lindsay is currently  completing a family memoir/travelogue entitled My Mother Was Mrs Central Otago.

Parts of the memoir have appeared in Phantom Billstickers Cafe Reader: In My Mother’s House in Vol 6 and a fragment from The Image of Ju Lye in Vol 11.

Here is what David Eggleton, our current Poet Laureate, said about Lindsay’s new collection:

‘These are poems of connection and remembrance.

They celebrate family, friends and acquaintances — fellow travellers on the road to wisdom and enlightenment or simply vanishing out of sight over the horizon.

‘The dignity of the ordinary’

And they are also poems which affirm the dignity of the ordinary, by turns rueful, wistful and comically sardonic.

Like a priest attentive to the goings-on in his parish, Lindsay Rabbitt wanders, observes, and acknowledges his neighbourhood and its inhabitants.

His poems gently unfurl in a Whitmanesque spirit of camaraderie.

Undeniably a poet and writer of the working class, in this new book of poetry he invites you to join him in raising a glass to the salt of the earth, to the ‘wild child’ and to the ‘Everyday Christ’.

(Also) ‘to his mother who sent him flowers for his 63rd birthday, and to his barber grandfather who whispered ‘Keep your skull still.’

– David Eggleton

Here is a poem of Lindsay’s that I asked him if I could use, says Gill.

It is a favourite of mine. 

CHOCOLATE-COLOURED CAT

I’m up in the wee hours. It being a balmy night

the doors & windows are open. I work intuitively.

At 2.30 I call time quietly. Entering my bedroom

I’m greeted by a chocolate-coloured cat on the bed.

I tickle under her chin, she felinely circles my hand. 

I slip into bed, she furls into the folds of my legs.

When I wake at 7 she’s on the pillow beside me.

She pushes her wet nose into my cheek. 

When I get up, she curls into the space 

I’ve left & when I return she’s gone.

I place my hand down to where she’s been;

feel the warmth.

—–

Come along!

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