The pines on the ridge are about to cede
their colour to the night. Once more
light’s absence will shroud this place.
Not even car-lights on the highway below
(such is their need for road when it’s dark)
re-mark the trees – their placement
their particular explanation of green.
Soon the evening will lay claim too
to vestiges of villas which once stood
in the bush beneath the pines –
orphaned lawns, homeless paths
rhododendron that flower
among five-finger, tree fern, rata.
These last artefacts mark the bones
of grand abodes. These and a plaque
at the site of each home
listing its name, its history of dwellers
its date of sacrifice to the road.
Credit note: “Evensong In A Graveyard Of Villas” is from Keith Westwater’s debut poetry collection Tongues of Ash.
Tim says: In late October, Keith Westwater and I will be embarking on a book tour to Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Lower Hutt and Auckland to launch our respective collections, his Tongues of Ash and my Men Briefly Explained.
I met Keith when we both did the IIML Writing The Landscape course, run by the wonderful Dinah Hawken, in 2003. “Evensong In A Graveyard Of Villas”, the penultimate poem in the penlutimate section of Tongues Of Ash, is a fine example of his landscape poetry, and anyone who knows me will know that I am in full agreement with the last line!
The Tuesday Poems: You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem Blog – this week’s hub poem in the centre of the page, and all the other Tuesday Poems on the right.