the old place
and the ancient walnut tree
sagging walls held up
by borer and scrim
and earthquake shaken
but a few broken bricks
the people scattered
out of that childhood dreaming
of distant faces
over the years
© Maureen Sudlow
and the tide
a wet and misty day as we travelled up past Havelock to the Sounds.
Trying to write for you
but in this numb place
the words won’t come
I can only remember
you, my sister
God grant you rest…
and maybe later
the words will come.
As we set out on the Kaikoura Road
sea-mist softened the scarred hills,
and the boarded up dreams
in the small bays with no name.
The rocks rose, coralline-white
drying forever above the old tide line
where the sea was held back
by the land’s sharp rise.
Boulders in tumbled heaps
at the feet of the slipping cliffs
as our convoy rumbled through
below the twisted metal of old train tracks.
Machines battled to tame the land
high on the netted headlands.
Containers stood in serried ranks,
guardians against the falling rocks.
Impressive, those men and those machines,
but after we passed torrential rain
scoured the land where we had been
and the road was closed again.
Crossing Cook Strait was a dream, with the seas still calm ahead of the storm. On deck was a different story though as there was a really cold wind blowing through, and it wasn’t pleasant to stay out there for too long. Have to admit the ferry below wasn’t the one we crossed on – ours was a bit smaller. Loved the mistiness of the hills as we sailed up the sounds, so I left that photo in a rather over-exposed state because I liked it that way.
cry of gulls
and the hills disappearing