In love with… (a country?)

landscape nature mountain lake
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I will use all the usual cliches… “it spoke to me” “I was inspired” … well, it happens to be true so there goes me being too cool for the room and turning my nose up to convention.  For whatever reason the universe decided to drop New Zealand into my mind lap and I am hooked deep.  I am not talking about actually loving an inanimate object (because that IS a thing apparently) but more the sheer diversity of the lands (fauna/creatures) and people in somewhere located literally on the other side of the world.  Truly it makes you wonder about the universe if most of us will never explore all the nooks in our own country (or state!) let alone this entire tiny dot on the backside of the milky way booty. I am particularly enchanted by the Maori culture (as in most Polynesian cultures it focuses on nature and particularly the oceans).  So with all that verbosity spilled here are some NZ inspired poems.  I probably will write more but these came in a rash/dash of inspiration so…  (notes below the poems explain some of the things I was thinking about as well as links to various mythology/information… you MIGHT have to learn something… I apologize in advance but I seriously have a NZ bug lately…)


fantail” 4/18/18

might I be a fantail

stopping on a line

beak snapping

right on time

unsuspecting fly

cup nest for my young

hunger chirps from eager tongues


DMK note: the fantail is a stunning little beast.  They can course correct in mid air due to their (drum roll…) fan tail.  Check out this video. Amazing bird.


“tangi” 4/23/18

might I be buried under a pohutukawa tree

and climb the roots

like vines

pulling oddly one by ten

to fool the blind

 

and so I may fall again

right back into the earth I fled

and roots shall draw out my life

coloring flowers of blood blossoms

to mark the path

and softens the harshest lands

 

might children play around my spine

elders pray to the north

open minds


DMK Note: lots to play off here, you sort of need to know about the trees and the Maori beliefs.  But for me I found it fascinating that the Maori have a specific place where the dead leave the earth to travel back (in spirit) to their homeland. I am specifically referencing certain elements in the story of Tawhaki.  The tree itself is also fascinating as it clings to outcrops and can pretty much grow in some extremely harsh environments… I would like to think of myself that way… if I were that brave, one can dream, and I certainly do.


“grounded” 4/23/18

penguins in the forests

foot paths worn with water feet

all these mazes

for children’s sake

 

their cousins the kiwi

also tired of flight

peck and hunt

upon the ground

all the while

with peculiar gate

and protruding snouts

 

might they all admire

the kakapo

ranger of the night

another relative

who has forgotten flight


DMK Note: NZ has an amazing diversity of life due to evolutionary forces separating the island from any other lands.  The isolation has led to a few very significant flightless birds.  The Kiwi of course is quite famous as it gives the nickname for NZ natives themselves.  But the Kakapo is this amazing huge night parrot.  Unfortunately due to introduced species the Kakapo is nearly wiped out but conservation efforts are in full swing thankfully.  Oh yeah… the penguin thing... they live in the forest and make this mad commute every day that rivals my own. Penguins in the forest !  really!


“Te Rerenga Wairua” 5/21/18

fingers of flame

filaments of fire

on timbers

holding onto this plane

corporal limbs

blooming land anemones

from root to branch

extends out to the tide

two bodies collide

ocean mist

in the distance

flowers for passing eyes

one last glimpse

before the dive


DMK note:  Cape Reinga (the Maori words are the title of the poem).  Literally believed to be the point where souls jump off to return home. I am again referencing the Pohutukawa tree as well here… and the fact that two oceans literally meet off the coast of this amazing place.  There is a tree said to be 800 years old just clinging to the coast… I mean, how many more metaphors can you pour into this thing ?  Amazing…


Musical time out: Eluveitie – The call of the Mountains… I think Anna Murphy’s voice is up there with Tori Amos…

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