Pukapuka Books


Saturday, July 17, 2010

2-Poem #7 - Palmerston Nth&Marton - Michael O'Leary

Palmerston North
The rain arrives, the clouds have been steadily
building since leaving Kapiti
Rolled up hay bales transported by a lone truck or
decaying in a paddock
Bridge over a river as the sun returns, the scenes of
farm industry dots the land
Blue smoke goes drifting by from a track-side fire,
its smell enters the carriage
Deer runs, suburban backyards, industrial sidings
still active. Changing cars
As a group of rail-enthusiasts get on after a trip
to Gisborne –
I’m now in the low-Paying peasants part of the train
being, of course, a low-paying peasant.
Children Screeching and this carriage doesn’t
have a table to write on.
The seedy, loud-speaker Stalinist architecture
of the station, its isolation

Whence I jumped a goods train at 3am in 1973
To Whanganui on my pilgrimage to Jerusalem
Its funny now, nearly thirty years later
Baxter’s family have entered my life
As friends at Paekakariki. Murals and memories
At Fielding, beforehand, box-cars standing
Like relics from a pre-container past
The dark, lush vegetation and steady hill climbs
of the central North Island

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