new zealand electronic poetry centre


Vivienne Plumb

A Letter from my Daughter

The trees are tall here, and everything
grows fast in the hot sun and heavy
rain. The wet has come, and butterflies
are the size of small birds. There are ticks
and leeches, enormous mosquitoes,
spiders, flies, thick striped snakes and green
ants, and they all bite. The rainforest
can be dark at night. And these mountains
are as green as their ferny gullies.
Sometimes the clouds engulf a whole
mountain top. The beaches have marvellous
shells and the sand lies silky and pure
white. You can pick coconuts, you can
pick as many as you like, and then
hollow out the smooth brown husks to use
for bowls. I have seen parrots, fruit bats,
black water snakes and tree rats. Mangoes,
bananas and pawpaws are growing
wild. During the wet, the sky becomes
deep violet and then next minute
the rain arrives in sheets. Water floods
the bridges and roads, and we cannot
reach Cairns. Because of the rain, local
houses are built on stilts, but below
the ridge down in the Commune we live
in old cars, in yellow bamboo huts,
or in treehouses under plastic.
I often walk along the railway
tracks and over the railway bridges.
There are big lemon trees by the tracks
further up (good for tropical
ulcers). I do not like the cane toads.
And now finally I must finish
this letter, but know that my spirit
astral travels at night, and therefore
I am nearer you more than ever
before. Always OM, your daughter Jane,
who has now been renamed Yasmeen
Shima Mogra Ashanti Cloud Burst.






Last updated 16 July, 2007