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Flora Alexa Stevens

Flora Alexa Stevens was a teacher and a poet. During World War II she was published in a British poetry anthology which included Robert Frost, Rabindranath Tagore, Vida Sackville West, W. H. Davies, Roy Campbell, A. E. Housman, Alex Comfort, Eileen Duggan and other notables. According to her niece, the Australian poet Janet Kenny, "My parents knew nothing of this ... She received no appreciation in her own philistine family." Here is one of her poems from that anthology:


He is gone. We did not see him go,
When from our isle he darkly, silently,
Slid on smooth waters by the sheltering land;
His grey form still, his heart vociferous,
His sky-blue eyes keen, he watched awhile, no doubt,
The hills of Wellington become a blur
Of twinkling lights; the little sandy bays
Where his brief boyhood shrieked the summer through
Show as small curves of light, elude his gaze,
And disappear in stars and midnight blue.

He is gone ... there were some waiting weeks...
And then a blessed word ... we breathed again
And hoped. The sun was warm all day, birds sang,
Our own sky-thrilling lad alive as they.
We ceased our moods of silence, and our hands
Knew their accustomed labour. We were glad
To live, because he lived. He was on land
After the treacherous waters ... Oh, soft rain
Fall lightly on him! Sun-soaked summer sand
Blown idly by, rest for a moment. Air
That was his world, be still as you pass there,
Where he lies now who will not fly again.

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