Character: Estina Mavet

Book: Faces in the Water 

Author: Janet Frame 

26 writer: Jane Berney (Aotearoa, New Zealand) 



Estina Mavet is thinly disguised tortured literary genius Janet Frame who was orphaned by her imagined madness, estranged from reality, isolated in her other worlds. 




Freeze. Still as the heron fixed on a frog


Gather afternoon shadows about you


Ignore sun’s blinking dance


Wrap yourself in tired flannel sheets 

burrow into winter cupboards


Make no sound.


Squeeze close blazing eyes

when Nurse bustles past


Hold onto your breath – keep it safe inside


Where hope nestles like a bird

beside watermarked memories,

and the litmus 

of madness



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