new zealand electronic poetry centre


Bob Orr

online works

Bay of Plenty

Summer waves breaking
the cool tang of low tide
wharf piles rotting.
A steady breeze blew white clouds
out east. Across the street dry sand
blew through the broken diamond mesh
of a rusted cyclone fence. By a headland
kelp heaved like a vineyeard beneath the sea.
Summer girls walked shining from the surf.
On the railway track at the back of town
a gang of men were laying new lines down.
If you looked hard enough you could see
the blacknrss beyond every blue wave.
You could see it even in
the dull red pohutukawa cloud
the cabbage trees shifting in the salty breeze
the manuka with sooty trunks & tiny leaves
the flax with sticky spears rising up from dry earth.
At night we shook the sand from towels
& in the morning still found it
in warm wide sheets.
Paint peeled from a veranda
to reveal grey timber underneath.
The bach we lay in front of
its red geraniums now gone.
A high pressure weather system
was certainly approaching.
I looked out to an uneven blue horizon.
On distant Easter Island one of those great stone statues
began to topple soundlessly into the dry murmurings of grass.

Bob Orr

Last updated 11 May 2001