Monday, January 07, 2008

Writer's Island: Over the Horizon

The Writer's Island prompt for this week is 'over the horizon'.  It was intended that we consider what our future might hold, however I took this prompt in a different direction.  This is a poem that has been sitting in my subconscious for a few years, ever since I moved to this city of steep hills and gullies.  At first I felt that the lack of expansive lines of sight also translated to a narrowness of thinking, however I later learned that was not the case at all.  Sorry, it's another Wellington poem!

Beyond Horizons

You can not rely
on horizons here.

Sure, the sun rises
over the mountains
to the East, light
appearing first
in prelude, but
Westwards she disappears
behind the ridge late
afternoon in summer,
earlier in June.

We can not take cues
from a line where
water meets sky, where
distant grass blends blue
into hazy light.

Instead we have to consider
the exact shade of pink on
the side of a scree slope
at dusk, the form of
clouds scudding by

We, who lack the
privilege of broad
vision become crafty,
investigators of clues
left on the landscape and
observers of narrowed
lines of sight.


UL said...

oh this was lovely, pip, happy 08 to you...loved this wellington of make me wanna witness it someday.thank you.

tumblewords said...

Wonderful! I love the images, the flow, the concept and the lovely blend of words and thoughts. Happy 2008!

sister AE said...

oh, I like this a lot. I work in a city where you can't see the horizon for the buildings, and I live where you can't see the horizon for the trees. But I once lived somewhere else...

gautami tripathy said...

Beautiful use of language. I enjoyed this. It flows..

Lea said...

Wonderful... I love this craftiness... a detective of sunrises and sunsets... Well done!

Redness said...

Beautiful - Thank YOU!

keith hillman said...

Absolutely charming. I'd miss seeing the horizon - as I write this I am looking out over the sea from my window. I so enjoyed your poem.

Preethi said...

Wonderful.. I loved the picture you painted... was lost in the delectable horizons.
Over the Horizon

Penelope Anne said...

You painted a very prosaic picture with these words.

My first ever entry is at:

LittleWing said...

i liked the quiet flow of words describing this beauty of a place...imagine just looking out your front door and what we can see...thank you

chicklegirl said...

I loved the line that began, "Instead we have to consider..." Having grown up a city girl, I love how you found beauty in the urban horizon--the landscape of what is familiar can become dear and beautiful in its own way.

Pauline said...

so succinct and descriptive. I especially like the third stanza

Chris said...


Pip said...

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I was happy with this poem, which I wrote after having felt pretty uninspired the last couple of months. This poem happened the way I like them to - it just appeared on the air over a period of a few days. Like all my 'good' poems, it stayed around until I was able to put it to paper.

As background, Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is at the bottom of the North Island (the South Island is across a narrow strait). Wellington is characterised by its wind and by its steep hills (a bit like San Francisco's). We are lucky to have a lot of parks here, with lots of pine and native bush. Even though we live in a suburb that is fairly close to the centre of the city our outlook is very green and we have a lot of native birds around us.

Catherine said...

Ah, but it depends where you live in Wellington - high on the hills in Miramar we had an expansive view of the whole harbour, and in Happy Valley we could look out across Cook Strait to the South Island. Whereas in Christchurch, it's so flat that other houses get in the way of the view.

Just Jen said...

no apology necessary! Wellington sounds BEAUTIFUL!!!
I liked the poem!

Tammy said...

Thank you for introducing this wonderful poet to me. This was perfect for the prompt and so true!

Tammy said...

My bad! It's a place and you are the amazing poet...bravo!

Whirling Dervish said...

Hi Pip!

Long time no talk's always a joy to wander back to your edge of the world and see what you're writing. This is really lovely.

And I love your story about your cousin who was with Tim & Neil when Tim fell off his motorbike--I heard Tim tell that story once at's a small world that you are related to the person he was with. And thanks for telling me about the Enzology podcasts. I'll definitiely check them out.

Were you able to get to any of the CH shows this year? I saw them twice in the states, marvelous of course. I am something of an addict and would be happy to trade recordings or anything with you if you are interested...