Sunday, October 9, 2011

At Taieri Mouth – James K. Baxter

At Taieri Mouth – James K. Baxter

Flax-pods unload their pollen
Above the steel-bright cauldron

Of Taieri, the old water-dragon
Sliding out from a stone gullet

Below the Maori-ground. Scrub horses
Come down at night to smash the fences

Of the whaler’s children. Trypots have rusted
Leaving the oil of anger in the blood

Of those who live in two-roomed houses
Mending nets or watching from a window

The great south sky fill up with curdled snow.
Their cows eat kelp along the beaches.

The purple sailor drowned in thigh boots
Drifting where the currents go

Cannot see the flame some girl has lighted
In a glass chimney, but in five days’ time

With bladder-weed around his throat
Will ride the drunken breakers in

O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.

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