From Taiaroa Head
I rise into the wind
that flows sunward.
Rime grows on my feathers.
I skim swells
that beat the slow pulse of this ocean.
Yachts race through the bergy night.
A whaleboat founders
with six sea-eyed men at the oars.
Whales ruffle an open lead.
Leopard seals shake penguins down for blood.
Captain Oates rises from his shallow grave
and asks for bread or meat.
Told I have none, he sighs,
and turns, and shuffles on.
This poem is included in my latest collection, All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens.