Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Prayer from a Late Middle-aged Woman

Oh Lord
hear me
I beseech thee

Do not let me become
that lonely old woman
with her shampooed
carefully brushed
Bichon Frise
yapping
in its purpose-made
carry bag 

Poetry - 5 things exercise

A while ago our writing group had as its topic a list of words and phrases. We had to take five of them and incorporate them into a story or poem.

The words I chose were: an old armchair, a book with the last page missing, boots, a car in a swollen river, and barbed wire.



5 things exercise

Looking out at the trees,
book fallen to the ground,
I sit in the old armchair that
now lives outside, after housing,
for three days, a mouse
who escaped the cat

My son lent me The Dreaming Void
in which the inside third
of page 53/54 was missing
which is not the same as
a book without the last page
but more puzzling.

It rained this morning:
the bush paths were wet
and water running high
over-flowed my boots
turning pink socks brown and
squelching mud between toes

On the bank of the stream
lies the shell of an old,
dangerously rusted refrigerator
which is not the same as
a car in a swollen river
and its possibility of death.

The fence around our bush
is a five strand electric one
which, I guess, prevents
the natives from escaping
but inside they are devouring
ancient barbed wire rolls.

Taking a Break - Te Puna Quarry Park

The second day of my break was spent looking in and for art supplies shops, reading and writing, but on the last day I went to the Te Puna Quarry Park. It was a bit of a disaster. When I arrived I drove to the far end of a long parking area, to where other cars were parked, and where I could see a large noticeboard with a rough map of the paths. I decided to take the 'main circuit' which led into the bush, assuming that it would take me up and around to the sculptures and gardens. The track led me up a very step track, and I thought I was heading to the top of the quarry. But no.


After nearly an hour and a half, two falls from slippery steep ground, two grabbings of barbed wire, climbing over two fallen trees, crawling under another, and without seeing anything but bush, I emerged a few metres from where I started, and saw a sign saying 'main track', and which lead in the opposite direction. Both knees and one hip were aching almost to the point of tears and I went and ate my lunch and drank long from my cold water bottle.

I decided against the main track - I couldn't face another steep walk, even if the track was a lot better and bigger than the previous one, which was about the same standard as the track in our bush, except vertical. But I did go for a gentle wander.
 At last! Some sculptures!







 There were some pretty gardens and flowers, but the whole thing didn't live up to my expectations - I think the Waikato Arboretum Sculpture Park, also an old quarry, beats it hands down.



 Lesson: don't make assumptions. Go carefully. And remember -  Here there be dragons.



Taking a Break - Katikati Haiku Pathway

I'd heard about the Katikati Haiku Pathway and finally I got to visit it!
 Again, there were tui everywhere - this time enjoying the harekeke flowers.

 And then the haiku on the boulders.



 The walk runs along both sides of a small river.



 

 Evidence of recent wild weather.
 Not on the actual walk, but a very fun sculpture.




Taking a Break - A Walk Around The Mount

I love my life, and I love where I live. When I was younger I wanted to travel, and enjoyed seeing a little of the world. Now I am largely content with staying home. There is always more to see and learn: my outlook is becoming more focused on the details of life rather than wider vistas. Spending half an hour watching the miracle of tiny preying mantis babies hatching out excites me to a degree previously experienced through more obvious adventures.
But sometimes it is nice to go away, although a few days is all I can cope with before I feel the can-we-go-home-now itch.

Last week Mac was working in Tauranga for three days and Rebecca was available to animal / house sit, so I went too. First thing was a walk around the base of The Mount - I've been visiting for nearly 60 years, and always do this walk, which never fails to be breathtakingly beautiful.
Just two pohutukawa trees were in flower, and were incredibly noisy as they were full of tui delighting in the first nectar.
 
 I love the shapes of pohutukawa trees too.




I have climbed to the top a few times over the years, but probably won't do so again - I really don't like heights. As in, I get dizzy and faint, and have panic attacks.
 Matakana Island
 I took about 20 photos trying to capture the seal playing in the water!
 There was a very bad smell at one point. I thought it was a dead something, but someone pointed out the bird nests above - the smell was bird poo.
 This little guy hopped along beside me for about five minutes.
 New life arising out of the remains of a dead tree.
 And next to this beautiful nature spot - the port,
 and the tourist service centre.
 
The beach is lovely - but still I prefer the wild west coast.