XYZ of Happiness by Mary McCallum

ISBN 978-0-9951092-2-3
July 2018
Paperback with flaps
RRP $25

These are poems of happiness … as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for. Pastel and glib or orange and high-vis, it is almost invisible in a chemical cocktail and strangely visible – but unreachable – in an equation etched into glass. It is a dog unleashed on the grass and a man going about measuring the Earth. It can be heard at the end chemotherapy and in a conversation in
the kitchen while a boy drowns in the harbour outside. It wears a pink T-shirt, spins with sycamore seeds and spends a whole poem finding a yellow it can live with.



About the author

Mary McCallum is a novelist, poet, songwriter and publisher. Her novel The Blue won two national book awards in 2007, she is the inaugural winner of the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize and her children’s novel Dappled Annie and the Tigrish won a Kirkus Star in the US. She founded Mākaro Press in 2013 and her band The Brooklyns plays around Wellington. She has three adult children and lives with her husband and his selection of yellow socks in Wellington and the Wairarapa.

Pink T-shirt

He liked to arrive at her door
ring the bell and wait
to see her face above him at the window
the eyes widen, the mouth an oh!
look through the keyhole
to see the joy of her
running down the stairs in a pink T-shirt
cupping each large unruly breast
not enough hands
to stop the smile on her face.

Author photo: Ian Stewart
Cover art: Ellen Giggenbach