Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

11 October 2012

Leaves From My Sketchbooks. 53. Lowry Bay, New Zealand

I used to live in Lowry Bay, a middle class seaside suburb between Petone and Eastbourne, Wellington. A desirable address, a privileged place to live. I did this sketch from its beach for a Christmas Card. While working I reflected upon the Maori family who were collecting shell fish (you can see two of them in front of the boat house). Maori had come gathering from this bay long before it became a fashionable enclave. I wrote this poem in my head.

Cheerful Tane Ngati Ira
Crept about the marsh of Whio-rau,
Noose on pole through flax grass thrusted;
Sudden cease of pot-doomed blue duck!
All about the sea and sunshine,
Bush, kotare, tui, bellbird
Looked on Tane, Man, outsider,
Fronted by his callous trespass
Quietly prayed he'd go away.

Ample Rangi Atiawa
Fumbles on the bed of Whio-rau
Picking sewage-sated pipis,
Sacks full, tea for sagging mother
And six mouths in Chevvy waiting.
All about the middle-classes
Peep from terylene-net windows
Tutting at this rude intrusion
Wish to God he'd go away!

© DON DONOVAN. donovan@ihug.co.nz 
www. don-donovan.blogspot.co.nz

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By Don Donovan