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Patricia Prime: Haibun

Peace and Plenty
Ka kata nga o Taiamai. The puriri trees of Taiamai are laughing*

hillside
holiday homes
teeter

The cruise boat that has ferried me up the Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton under a peerless sky deposits hikers beneath Captain Cook's plain but prominent monument at Ship's Cove. We hikers walk overland for a day before picking up our backpacks and bed rolls at Furneaux Lodge. The cove is much as Cook would have seen it, in January 1770, when he raised the flag on nearby Motuara Island, proclaiming it a British sovereignty. We walk around the bay, admiring the sea water dancing in and out of the bush. In the deep, untouched forest, I hear the fluting, liquid calls of a tui.

white pine
on the topmost twig
a bellbird sings

Giants of the forest, puriri, kamahi and rimu surround us. Stands of manuka and kanuka protect carpets of ferns and darting fantails, waxeyes and wood pigeons. When I see the water changing in the light from green to blue and silver, I wish I'd brought swimming togs to step off the track for a swim.

sheltered cove
floating in the water
pumice

Our port of call, Furneaux Lodge, is only accessible by foot or boat. In the shelter of Endeavour Inlet and shawled by virgin forest, the old place is a refuge. While resting, I read about Patrick Howden who in 1904 bought 1000 plumb acres running from Mt. Furneaux to the beach and built the home that became Furneaux Lodge. Half a century later, his son Harry left the bulk of the land to the government as a scenic reserve. As I set off on the boat back to Picton, a lady's parasol lifts off.

mid-sea rescue
fully-clothed
he dives from the boat


* Reference: The Reed Book of Maori Proverbs, 2001


Patricia Prime writes poetry, reviews, articles and short stories and is the coeditor of the New Zealand haiku magazine Kokako. She has recently been interviewing New Zealand poets and editors and publishing the results in magazines and on the Internet. An interview with Sanford Goldstein, eminent American tanka poet, now resident in Japan, is to appear in the forthcoming Tanka Society of America Newsletter. She has recently embarked on two new ventures: renku with Gerald England and John Carley and haiku sequences with Tasmanian poet, Ron Moss. A collection of her tanka was published in Simply Haiku, March/April 2004, v2n2 and a collection of her haiku in Simply Haiku, November 2003, v1n5.