Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poetry Thursday: On Holiday

While on holiday
Outside the boatsheds
on Oriental Parade a
man is feeding bread
to seagulls.

They snatch crumbs from
his fingers, hovering
inches from his face.

I watch as he reaches
to stroke their backs,
crooning as though talking
to a favoured child.

In a park across the road from
Oriental Bay there is a swing
hanging from a Pohutukawa.

As I am taking a photo
of its open invitation there
is a noise behind me.

An old man stands
with arms outspread, a
comical scarecrow on this
millionaire's row.

"Take an interesting photo,
take a photo of me".

I laugh but he is gone
before I can raise
my camera and
the moment is lost.

And in celebration of tomorrow's Montana Poetry Day, here are some photos taken on Wellington's sculpture walk. I love a city that cares enough about its art to leave verses of poetry around its waterfront.

Each verse is supposed to say something about this city. The photo above is tucked away by the rowing club and I don't think I've ever noticed it before. This is how I feel about living here. There is another somewhere (I think by Frank Kitts) that starts off "you don't live here by chance". I feel that way about Wellington as well. Life here does indeed feel precarious, and you have to make a choice to lodge yourself in her hillsides.

I've never approached Wellington through the tunnel (I'm guessing this means a train tunnel), but coming down Ngauranga Gorge and driving past that understated little 'Wellington' sign feels like this. As if you could be anywhere else!

And my last discovery, in the park where the old man approached me, and where another man sat drying clothes on a nearby bush. He seemed harmless enough - just enjoying the warm winter sun I think. I hope this one can be read okay. You might need to open it in a larger window.

All in all a very pleasant way to spend a mid-winter holiday.

More Thursday poetry here.


paris parfait said...

Yes, it's fantastic when a city embraces poetry as part of its identity. Your poem is lovely - thanks for the unexpected glimpse into your environment!

Marie said...

You are indeed blessed! I have never seen a city with poetry in stone......thanks for sharing it with us, as well as the visual images of the birds snatching bread.

Robin said...

How lovely, and unique. I always hate those moments we lose before we can snap the picture, and we're left thinking, "I'll bet it would've been a great shot."

gautami said...

Unique perspective of poetry. In stone. Thanks.

Regina Clare Jane said...

We loved N.Z. when we visited there but alas, we never got to Wellington...
What a wonderful poem- I can really feel the spirit in it!

Catherine said...

I always love the reminders of Wellington you give me - the boatshed photo is fantastic. But I do wonder how you can live in Wellington and never approach it through a tunnel :) You should take the train out to Johnsonville and back sometime - it is only 20 minutes each way - it goes through eight tunnels, it is a wonderful treat for preschoolers and for adults who like to feel like children sometimes!

leonie said...

i agree with Catherine. you gotta take the train out to j'ville. then try some of the other lines too. you never know what adventures, photo ops and poetry prompts you might find.

i'll go with you if you want some company.

Lipstickx said...

Your poem makes me want to go on holiday myself, and catch some moments.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the photo of the man feeding the seagulls, you composed it perfectly. I enjoyed your poem too and the poetry stones, lovely.

paisley said...

quite excellent,, and i love the photo,, it really brings me full circle... to bad you couldn
t catch a snap of the old man... that would have really made it

tumblewords said...

The photo of the seagull obscuring the feeder's face made me catch my breath. The poem is great and the remaining photos are a delight!