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meg doughty


I see city birds
on the fence outside
Hello good morning birds
I have porridge and brown sugar
if I open the windows
they’ll have some too
In summer where
the windows don’t exist
our living rooms are the same
Buh-bye birds
I leave for my seminar
I see Tui in the trees
thwoop thwooping
tree to tree
Hello Tui
I can smell jasmine
coming into spring
Tui and I thawing
I sit and talk hearing wings
and tweets outside
I come home
say Hello to two cats
the city birds
on the way
I make dinner
kumara beetroot
and chickpeas
(we don’t sacrifice animals any more)
singing Siúil a Rún as I cook
I say
I put lavender on my pillow

I go to the land
with the house with the fire
where mountains and rain
are my doorstep
I breathe easier here
cut kindling and stoke the fire
the cats come through
the open door
out of the rain
they carry sprigs in their teeth
Thank you
they sit by the fire
and warm themselves
I add the leaves to the pot
their perfume mixing
with the purrs I stir
and hum over the steam
water and salt from the day
then come the birds
with herbs
in their beaks
Thank you
They come through the window
to my table
helping themselves
to the oats
I pick jasmine from outside
add the blooms to the pot
and stir and stir
humming with the warm rain
the roll of thunder
I smile to the animals
Maya sits beside me
her purring
completing the recipe
I stir
hover over the steam
and breathe in
I know how to live in this world

Meg Doughty is a reactionary writer who is fascinated by the everyday mystic. She recently completed an Honours degree in English at Victoria University of Wellington. She grew up with a black cat called Maya, and they read Meg and Mog books together, convincing Meg she was a witch.