Monday's poem

Wilding Pines, Southland
- Richard Reeve


They may win, you know. The evidence is a Buddhist, hill-patient
plotting of the white-haired botanist, pine after pine

along the far slope yanked out of the soil, sliced or axed,
thrown bottoms-up among fescue tussock, so that others behind him
won't waste time on leftovers. Another says Sycamore, Douglas fir,
in some Treaty of Tordesillas will divide up the earth.

Which might seem remarkable, yet here is the evidence _
yanked out of the stones, man bound up in his knowing

stalking sunburnt slopes intent on eradicating
these spiky green newcomers, rugged, hyperborean forms.

We contemplate an end, rubbing sap off our fingers
while rain moves up the valley, quietly like a shark,

nuzzling extremities of the mountain-range beyond us
where there is yet something left of the older world.


Richard Reeve is a Warrington poet. With Mick Abbott, he recently co-edited Wild Heart: The Possibility of Wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2011).

 

 

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