Cyclone Bola

Prompt: Winter is here and you are now trapped.

The paddocks were sodden,
each hoof print a puddle that
rippled and overflowed with every
driblet of water that fell from stony skies.

The excess swept over the grass,
blades bent beneath the heavy weight,
and slowly the water forged a path
down the hill.

A deluge the colour of clay,
with the unmistakeable fragrance of
cow shit and mud,
poured across the gravel road
just below Prior’s farm
in a rush to reach the swollen creek
which had long breached its banks.

Avid eyes and bright smiles watched
from the safety of the farmhouse windows,
because we knew the school bus
would never get through.

And Mum worried about practical things
as Dad shifted stock to higher grounds,
but at least the water tank was full.

Tiritiri Matangi dawn chorus

Before a sleepy, disheveled sun even thinks about poking her nose over the horizon, the first calls go out. A cheery wake up song to start a day of industrious productivity. As the sky lightens, first to a dull charcoal, then slowly, persistently, to a stunning, vivid blue, the chorus of melody grows stronger and louder. Sweethearts are courted with flirtatious serenades, and materials are meticulously gathered for the construction of homes in anticipation of future families.

Distraction

My feet ached in blue suede heels
I’d bought on sale at Westgate,
but I was distracted by the way
the evening sun caught the Auckland skyline
as I drove over the causeway.

 

Yep, this is another poem recorded while driving home.  See, I told you I am more inspired when driving than any other time!  Ha ha!

I wish I could have taken a photo for you, as the Auckland skyline really did look amazing in the evening sunlight.  There’s a spot when you’re driving along the Northwestern Motorway, just as you go over the causeway, where the Auckland Harbour Bridge lines up perfectly with the Auckland city skyline.  Unfortunately, there’s nowhere safe to stop and take photos, so instead, you just have to take my word for it.  🙂

Halfway ‘cross the Kaimais (poem)

We watched the steam rise from our socks,
wet from streams and puddles that crossed our path,
and behind that, sparks from the ti tree wood
as it burned in a temporary hearth.

When the creek water boiled in the enamel billy,
someone made Milo to share around.
We settled our backs against our sleeping bags,
and stretched our legs out on the ground.

When the chatter quieted, as we all grew tired,
and morepork calls echoed over the hills,
a man started reciting a Barry Crump poem,
in a voice that gave me chills.

He spoke of the bush, and of being alone,
and of living off the land.
He spoke of New Zealand and the sights he’d seen,
and of working as a shearing hand.

As his voice carried low in the night time air,
and we listened intent and rapt,
he spoke of hunting deer and pigs,
and of possums that he’d trapped.

It was a life that seemed a legend,
and we were caught up in his words.
Around us the bush rustled and chittered,
and we heard the cry of kiwi birds.

It was magic that night, in front of the fire,
listening to a poem that seemed old as time,
eyes closed, and muscles weary
from a long and hard day’s climb.

The edge of the Coromandel Peninsula (free verse poem)

The distinctive cry of gulls
provides a familiar counterpoint
to the low murmur of
salt-scented waves.
Splashes of white decorate
water that leans more toward teal
than the Pacific Blue that
carries its name.
We steal a mental snapshot
as State Highway 25 carries us
around the next corner,
and the next,
imagining
this is how it will remain,
preserved as in our memories,
yet it changes
even as we watch.

Murphy’s Aurora

Apparently New Zealand is in the middle of a ‘super massive’ Aurora. The Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, are supposed to be the brightest they’ve been in two years. Photographing the Aurora is one of the items on my photography bucket list, so when they said that visibility would be better from the east coast, I headed to my mother and sister’s house. They live about an hour away from me, on the east coast, whereas I’m on the west coast.

I headed up straight after work, and while Mum was making dinner, I did some research on how to photograph Aurora. I found this article really useful.

My mother and sister had a yoga class to go to after dinner, so I sat and read my book while I waited for them. When they came back they informed me that the cloud cover hadn’t dispersed as predicted, and so we might not be able to get a clean shot. I figured I might as well make the most of the two-hour round trip, so I suggested we head out and take some photos of the Auckland city lights at night. Well, we set up our tripods and snapped some shots, but the wind kept buffeting our cameras and ruining the shots. Then it started to rain.  It clearly wasn’t meant to be.

As it turns out, we were never going to see the Aurora. Firstly, it was only going to be visible ‘as far north as Wairarapa’. Ugh. That’s nearly 8 hours’ drive south of me. Secondly, there was a full moon. Thirdly, it was delayed and didn’t arrive until 6am which means it was only there at daylight when no one could see it anyway.

My sister was laughing at me, and pointed out that I had driven all that way to read my book in their house while they went to yoga. #fail

Then, in the way of Murphy’s Law, the motorway was closed for roadworks and it took me longer to get home than it should have. *facepalm*

I’d say that the moral of the story is to do your research first before leaping into action, which would have saved me the trip, but I actually don’t agree with that sentiment. Yeah, if you’re spending a lot of time or money on something, definitely do your research first. But spontaneity has its place. So, it cost me a couple of hours of my time. No big deal. We had a laugh, and learned some stuff.

My kids love it when my husband and I surprise them with spontaneous silliness, like driving to Pokeno (an hour’s drive) for an ice cream, or deciding that each person in the car in turn can decide which direction we turn at the next intersection. Ha ha, that last one saw us driving in circles around Blockhouse Bay. The kids thought it was hilarious though.

While I was at Mum’s, she asked me what I was reading at the moment. We share an Amazon account, as we both read romance ebooks. She reads more historical romance than I do, and she doesn’t read my m/m books, but there’s a lot of overlap. Anyway, I said I was in the middle of a m/m book (Found At The Bookstore by Christi Snow) and she said she was reading a Lori Foster book. She’d read When You Dare, the first book in the Edge of Honor series, then moved on to Bare It All, which is the second in the Love Undercover series. I asked her why she wasn’t reading them in order, and she said that because it wasn’t obvious by the title, she had no way of knowing the reading order. So I looked them up on Lori Foster’s website and made a list for Mum of the correct reading order for the two series. I also thought she might like the Buckhorn Brothers series, so I wrote down the order for that one too. So see, I did accomplish something. Ha ha!

Fire in the skies of Mordor (free verse poem)


Fire in the skies of Mordor @nick_crarer

A post shared by New Zealand (@travelnewzealand) on Aug 17, 2017 at 10:44pm PDT

The cool, dim morning strikes a
contrast with the sear and sizzle
of dragon’s fire as darkened hills
are highlighted by the flames of
gold and tangerine that lick the
underside of the heavy swathe
of dark smoke that stretches as
far as mere mortals can see.