Monday's Poem

The High Country

-  Rhian Gallagher

An angel circled above Ben Ohau Range.
Heat radiated from the schist, the air felt migrated.

When it is winter I cannot be here
but it is like winter's echo
immersing in cloudy blue meltwaters,
I shake with clarity and refrigeration.

The wind stirring above the range
and the angel, a parachute with no body.

And when the lonely willow comes to me
I lie under the darkness of it
looking up through a tress of leaves.
I think of my new life that is always arriving

and I think of my dead, who have left the plains
and gone to the place of never-again.

I am forever passing myself like an ancient.
She who is a stranger looks back and asks:
``Are you the one who saw an angel
circling above Ben Ohau Range?''


Rhian Gallagher's first collection, Salt Water Creek (London: Enitharmon, 2003), was short-listed for the Forward Prize for First Collection. She will take part in a reading at the Dunedin Public Library on National Poetry Day, Friday July 22, 7-9pm. (Bookings essential.)  




Add a Comment







Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter