There are thousands of kilometres
and a few more to add
as wheels follow drained bogs
and cut into hill curves
Hedges of flax enclose butterfly battalions,
blue and mauve agricultural experiments
of fodder flower and oily seeds
I drive because I want to see Tapanui.
I want to walk in the main street
and follow side street
of forestry, of the blue and green
flapping wings of guide books.
Nostalgia in not having been here
the inward look at backward times
of white stone civic functions
of get togethers of family and community.
Green island bound in production
a book in which I find myself
inscribed, everywhere I lived, the towns
mimic certainty, the daily round.
Surrounded by lives
which stand as public monument
to the incidental, a sidelined other,
arteries of the unimpeded heart.
Ode to Statues in Otago Towns
A cast of thousands in glorious metal
polished to represent virtues
both civic and personal under attack
from shrieks of outrage and misinformation.
Rest in peace, rest in the peace
that passes understanding
under skies of remembering
and hills of eternal prominence.
In these we trust, the soil which flavours
companion plants that lend a taste
of landscape, of inclusive cycles
of water air sunlight, everything
returns: the earth, our thoughts ,our being.
Virtues written on a pedestal of local stone
curiously human the wiring of the soul
we will stand against the enemy
and fight for one another, courageous
to the last, in weakness and strength.
A complex hive of experience
and the honeyed ascent of man,
life instinctual, an emerging imaginal
of thinking in complete sentences,
lives spinning in wonder of renewed phrases
and the earth shakes and boils
as language spins and dances
there’s an explanation which ebbs and flows
under the Happy Mountain.