Friday, August 6, 2010

Te rain

people ask you

 - they always will
how come you
live here
you say:
I am at home
 - and you mean it

you say:
what, besides the fact
where I am from
is a tiny island
(actually several)
in the middle of the ocean
they think
about this
and smile

they say:
don’t you miss it?
it’s your turn
to smile
nice place to visit
wouldn’t want
to live there

you believe
and tell people it’s so
you got it all
outa ya system
missing it
by going back
to work there
for a year or two

you been back here
two years
haven’t missed it
don’t think
you ever will, again

and then
it hits you
one hot summer night
just before it rains
you find your mind
driving down
the Bombay hills motorway
in the dark
past the flower store
on your right
the manuka trees, swamp
turn off to Thames
on your left
or coming the other way
through Ngaruawahia
late at night
past the fish’n’chip shop
the pub
railway line
Turangawaewae marae
army camp
urupa on the hill
the dead looking over
the smooth, wide
Waikato river

Or it's a sunny day
and you’re hitch hiking
somewhere out back
near Te Aroha
on a country road
going past
the milk treatment plant
whatever you remember
you are always
in motion
always in
the inbetween places
moving on

that’s partly why, too
people ask you:
how long you’ve been here
you say:
ten years
except really
with all the coming
and going
if you add it all up
you spent three
of those ten years

used to be
when you could afford it
come november
and the grey west coast rain forest
by december
you were desperate
from the gloom
in the dead of winter
you’d book your ticket
to the sunny south pacific
by the end
of january
you’d be there
not missing it
at all

people ask you:
why you’re here, now
and you wonder
about the answer
because you feel safe here
how you felt at home
the first time you visited
a journey of love
the doors of art
which opened to you
or the spirit bears
who called
you painted
before you ever
came here
the bears who
came to you
right after
you got here
or the years
your spirit spent
hovering over this coast


Ngaruawahia photo by rytc on flkr (creative commons)