This has been promoted to one of my favourite poems since I read “Big Weather” a collection of poems about Wellington. Its weird, when I think of Baxter its of black and white photos either on the postie bike or long haired and bearded at Jerusalem, however I like poems from all eras. For a long time “Ballad of the Junkies and the Fuzz” resonated and sat with me after a friend OD’d in Auckland. The image of the candles around mattress was so strong (as I recall).
Often I feel urged to go on a road trip to Jerusalem up the Whanganui River Road. I’d like to visit the church and the sisters as well as see Hemi’s grave. A strong image of this place that calls to me is the amazing Ans Westra photograph of wife and grand-daughter at his funeral.
I am being repeditive about how these images affect me. Westra’s photography especially draws me into the time and place and makes me feel part of the picture, as though I know the subjects. And, while I like Marti Friedlanders photography as well, it is Westra that sucker-punches me every time.
BTW – the photo is from the Wellington Writers Walk which is such a wonderful idea and very much worth seeing