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Poem: "The Beaches of Kaikoura" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "The Beaches of Kaikoura"
dianavilliers sponsored this poem. For inspiration she referred me to her blog with a description and photo of the Seaward Kaikouras in New Zealand. Wow. I was captivated by the geology and wildlife.

The Beaches of Kaikoura

Walking the beaches of Kaikoura,
you can see where the island
folds her hands over her waist:
faultlines interlaced like fingers,
the knuckles of her mountains
gnarled as an old woman’s.

Out there, unseen but meaningful,
cold water wells up from the ocean.
Fish follow it, with whales and dolphins
following the fish. At low tide,
seals stretch themselves
along the pebbled shore.

Overhead, long white clouds
arrange themselves in rolls.
There are languages lost in the hollows
of this land, like tufts of fur
caught in rough bark.
This place plucks at you that way.

The people come and go.
Only the mountains remain,
their intricately knitted chains
embracing cold clear tides,
against which all our urgency is
no more than the scuttling of crayfish.

* * *
EDIT: I'm thrilled with the finished image of "The Beaches of Kaikoura," in which dianavilliers has skillfully meshed my poem with her photograph. To see the collaborative results of cyberfunded creativity, go here. This is the kind of cool thing you can do with a poem you've sponsored.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
wyrmwwd From: wyrmwwd Date: July 9th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)


That is really beautiful!
dianavilliers From: dianavilliers Date: July 10th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Kiaora, kiaora. Nicely done.
I've reposted this over in my blog.
It always fascinates me to see what you come up with. Did you borrow the long white colud image, or reinvent it independently?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 10th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you like the poem!

Hobby-Linguist knows that "Aotearoa," the local name for New Zealand, means "Land of the Long White Cloud."
3 comments or Leave a comment