Winds and Time

Throughout our lives blow many winds and gales.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for dangerous gales.

Loved ones and their dreams are drowned at sea
when storms cause ships on shoals to sail.

At night, the moon is lashed by trees
while men go mad from days of nor’west gales.

Wind on sand makes seas of crescent moons
and sand on winds of time all life assails.

Take my hand, Margret my love, we’ll climb the tops
lean forward, yell, push back tomorrow’s gales.

Notes: I wrote this ghazal after hearing a weather forecast on the radio introduced with the words "Dangerous gales are forecast for tomorrow...". It appears in my new poetry collection, Tongues of Ash. The poem was also published in the Christchurch Press on Friday 12 August 2011 and the last two lines can be found in Caught on Canvas – Richard Ponder’s Wellington, Coombe House, 2005 (these lines were my first published lines of poetry). Caught on Canvas is still available from the Rona Gallery, Eastbourne and other bookshops nation-wide.

Listen to Winds and Time:

Coming back from leave

We watched you from Waiouru's windows,
Ruapehu, all those years ago
though I never knew who was watching whom.

Summer days that could glaze clay pots
you would slip the Rangipo, shimmy in a haze
an impresario of water-colour washes.

I remember looking up, for no good reason
on those runs up Totem and round Three Kings
or when going home through Camp Road gate.

And there you were, closer than before
a rhinoceros with psoriasis
flanks shedding metal skin.

But was Waiouru really home? All those years
we spent yearning for the next
weekend away, long leave break, posting out.

Winter, coming back from Wellington
(from anywhere) you would appear
white on grey canvas, so still – still there.

The nearer we got, the heavier
the sky’s press, the deeper the pit
the closer the bars on the windows.

Coming back from leave appeared in Landfall 220.

Yet another poem on home thoughts from abroad and gorse

Behind a flat
in London’s Fordwych Road
four cabbage trees
marooned in their O.E.
fan the bar-be-cues
of kiwis left-the-nest

but I didn’t see a kereru
piwakawaka, or kaka
in a kotukutuku tree
when biding time
in Brighton’s gardens

though the yellow stars
at the back of Waiwhetu
came sharply into view
when, amongst the larkspurs
hollyhocks, and roses
I found an Orsman’s gorse.

Chris Orsman wrote a poem entitled "Ornamental Gorse", which was published in a collection of the same name. Yet another poem appeared in JAAM 24.


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