Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TUESDAY POEM | Two stanzas from A Fiordland Notebook by CB

                                   The mountains do not remember
                                    asking the forests
                                    to shelter birds
                                    with silent tongues
                                    and leaves of bark.

                                    CB  |  Camelot River, Dusky Sounds, Western Fiordland 

                             When dawn comes and the ruru return
                                    we will cast our bodies
                                    on your banks and
                                    with spines to the ground
                                    and eyes wide open, wonder
                                    at the tenacity of moss, 
                                    the complex miracle of breathing. 

                                    CB | Camelot River, Broadshaw Sounds, Western Fiordland

This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub is UK-based poet Kathleen Jones with Another Exile Paints a Spring Portrait of Katherine Mansfield by Riemke Ensing. Kathleen writes, "This poem takes me straight to Mansfield’s account of being in John Fergusson’s studio - her descriptions of the china, the way the light fell across the room, all the colours, but it is actually a dialogue with one of Frances Hodgkins’ still-life portraits. . . "

~ please click on the quill ~


  1. Ah, lovely Claire. I really like the way the words and the images 'speak' to each other.

    1. Sometimes I wonder if we do our 'best' - our truest, least self-conscious - work in our notebooks, Helen?! Thanks for coming by.

  2. So beautiful. I especially like the reference to nature not needing permission to perform her magic.

    1. Hello, Kass - and thank you for continuing to come by (my blog is a relatively quiet place these days, requiring my own - and kind others' - patience!). I wrote these fragments into my sketchbook whilst on a conservation residency in a remote area of New Zealand - Western Fiordland - where, sadly, introduced species of vermin (at least they are in that environment) are decimating the bird life and undermining the primordial forest - hence the 'birds with silent tongues' and 'leaves of bark', unanticipated deviations from the forest's initial contract with its inhabitants. . . Sad, really. Mercifully, there is a team of environmental zealots dedicated to pest eradication and the preservation of this exquisite region of our islands. Love to you, Claire

  3. Having kayaked up the Camelot (and other places in the Doubtful Dusky area) I really identified with your poem Claire. I admire your poem and the accompanying sketches - well done. And its history! It is a beautiful place and we need to look after it.

    1. Hi Barry - lovely to find your message here and to know you know Camelot and the Doubtful and Dusky Sounds (their very names are poems!). Sacred groves, really, and yes, to be cherished and protected. All best to you, Claire