Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Return trip to the Hawkes Bay, St. Valentines Day Weekend, 2004

The first cicadas broke through
the earth’s crust
as we left home
dopey, green, flying badly.

Near Otane, on a low hill
the bungalow bent time
with its sentinel
of phoenix palms.

North of Dannevirke
cabbage trees still lined
the railway track
presenting arms.

The Bay was a basket
of apple trees
trailing wine-lovers
naked ladies in the fields.

They’re all lotus-eaters
up there you know
a friend warned us
a decade ago.

The storm broke coming back.
When we got home
cicadas chain-sawed
the wind.

Remember the Manawatu floods of February 2004? I got home from a long weekend trip to the Hawkes Bay with friends the day the rain started. The poem I subsequently wrote appears in Tongues of Ash.

Visit Tuesday Poem for more poems this week.


  1. I really like that you used the cicadas to start and end this poem. The contrast between where you came from and where you went to is well achieved too. And the last lines, 'cicadas chain-sawed the wind'...great! A surpise poem, given the title.

    1. Thanks Helen. Some famous poet (Eliot?) said the word 'cicadas' should never be used in a poem. I decided to use it twice.


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