NZPS Book launch – After the Cyclone


A lovely launch with some excellent readings. I was happy to be able to read my poem After the Cyclone, which had been awarded first prize.

I wrote most of it when we were driving back to Aks from Hamilton after days of heavy rain. The road follows along the Waikato river for part of the way and the flooding was impressive

the river rises / the river floods / branches float by / and clumps of flax / and pukeko nests / swift drifting islands

the river covers the land / cows thigh deep in cold water / they won’t swim for it / not till they’re nearly drowning

my eyes flood / my vision distorts

I see what I don’t remember

I am heart-deep / and cannot swim

towards that fast-moving / swampy shore