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.