Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 4, December 2010

Patricia Prime
Auckland, New Zealand


Island Hopping

driving to Greymouth
across the Southern  Alps
earth’s rocks
folded and fissured
through slow millennia

the river’s icy breath
fogs the valley
wreaths trees with mist,
sunlight just reaching
a distant crest

we pause
to play in the roadside snow
beside a lake . . .
other tourists
taking photographs

The olive green kea, red peeping from its wings, spies on us with beady eyes at the Arthur’s Pass café.  We walk through snow and slush to the visitor’s centre.  Pass a tiny chapel, rocks, and ice plants the palest turquoise & the air knife-bitingly clear.  Roadside slippery and treacherous, snow-topped mountains looming in the distance.  The lake a peacock blue fanning into shingles, rivulets of glaciers.  From broken boulders look & look at majestic waterfalls, white-grey water and up & up to disappearing tops.

Being south, I don’t much miss my mangrove isthmus, twin harbours, traffic crawling along clogged motorways, happy to holiday in this cold climate.

oblivious to the cold
at our journey’s end
we heat soup
conversation unfolding
in six different voices







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