Driving Past The Blueberry Gardens. Crouching shrouded figures Knelt in prayer Mosquito netted children Tucked in with care Misty white hillocks lined up in Snowy rows Gauze covered bushes, green in the sun, Birds shut out and fruit shut in **************** Garden Noises Listen In. Half the fun of being in the garden is to listen to what is going on, birds singing, bees buzzing in the cat mint, flax blades clattering against each other, but the other day I was sitting having tea in the morning sun, as I watched, a breeze stirred the cream rose a couple of feet away from me and some loose petals dropped onto gray river pebbles beneath it, what amazed me was I could hear the large cream petals as they hit the stones, they made a small soft thud. How deafening life must be for garden insects **************** Winter Scene How funny that children should be swimming there, The water leapt and turned silver in the sun, but no childish shrieks were heard, The trees hung leafless and the river steamed in the cold winter air, Suddenly a quack rang out, who but a duck could be waterproof enough to enjoy that icy game. **************** Summer School at Waikato Polytech Do you know what they are doing in Natural Fibres, they're sitting on the floor laughing and eating apple short-cake that Royce has brought to the class surrounded by stones and piles of flax, feathers woven into strands held by their toes sheets of broken gray glass draped with gum-tree bark , they're happy and laughing surrounded by their treasures. **************** on writing poetry From the journal of Katherine Mansfield, l9O4-l922 'A poem should not be something which the maker spins out of himself, but something external which he renders in verse as faithfully as possible. When Tennyson , for instance wrote, A million emeralds break from the ruby-budded lime, he did not make it at all. The lime tree made it, he just saw it' (From an anonymous review.} Henorme! ******************** Roses on top of a wall Giant balls of "Sally Holmes" lying on the wall has some careless bridesmaid left them there and run away to dance ************ The cattle rose to their feet as I passed leaving beds of flattened leaves and grass Warm to the touch ********* Spiders Way I walked towards the setting sun A silver path across my track, moving sideways as the sun's rays lit each spider strand. And when I turned to take the homeward track the silken stream had gone, each filament wiped out by the changing light. ************ Autumn Days The dried plane leaf came bowling down the road, clattering on the metal as it went, The breeze died down and the leaf lay spent waiting for winter to dissolve it. (ed's note: metal is the grey loose crushed stone on unsealed roads) ************* Mushroom picking with an old felt hat white grass spattered domes with chocolate pink gills, filling the hat and over the brim . *********** the mist rose softly and steadily through the emerald grass turning white like a child's breath as it met the cold night air. ************** Poplar Leaves I love to hear the poplar leaves slapping in the wind, each leathery leaf as it hits the other makes quite a rain-drop sound. *************** a lapful of stones, which word shall I pick, is it curtain or knife, or deliver or end. Is it empty or blue or rhythm or water? What about tambourine or shadow or listen. They're short and they're round and have plenty of sound. I think I'll stand up and they'll fall to the ground. ****************** Family History They sailed from Nova Scotia in l853 the Hazard family, Sick and tired of cold and ice They wanted to be free. My great grandparents were missionary, by the maori much revered, One night a phantom canoe appeared and brought a chilling fear. What could happen on this calm lake where fish and heron swim, is this a terrible warning sign of tragedy to come? A distant rumble started then, the folk in Rotorua heard it, and puffs of smoke came from the crown of brooding Mt. Tarawera. My grandmother Maude and sister Betty. had gone to stay in Auckland the change of air would suit the girls so weak from scarlet fever. Great grand-father Charles stood at the door the mountain was on fire, "Stay inside and hold the babe , he is so very young." "Ruth take Charles , the air is thick, and to the hen-house run, God has wrought what he has wrought and all we can do is pray." The beam fell on my great grand-mother the babe she held was killed My great grand-fathers mouth was filled with ash and the lava burnt like hell. Poor Uncle Charles and nurse maid Ruth, were killed by poisonous gases, the lava flowed and flowed and flowed and all was quiet and still. Poor old Sophie survived alone, buried in her small Whare, The Maori came and fed her food, The Tapu had been lifted. copyright Gael Levin. The Tarawera Eruption.