"Between the Lines"

ISBN 3-9501862-0-4


On this great plain the eye
Sees less of land than sky,
And men seem to inhabit here
As much the cloud-crossed hemisphere
As the flat earth. Trains travel fast and straight,
And travellers early or late
Think of their destination
More than of pasture, wheatfield, wayside station.
Here birds and winds fly free,
And tree is miles from tree
Except where in dark ranks they muster
Against the gales or cluster
Befriending lonely farms.
Tired tramps and trampers fare
Sadly along the endless roads, but the hare
Is lucky, and the magpie, black and white
Highwayman with his shout.
Sounds are soon dead being echoless
In the vast emptiness,
Though thunder and the ocean roar
Carry, on calm days, far;
And some sounds hardly ever rest:
The sound of wind from nor’east or nor’west
And three great rivers with proud Maori names
Chafing worn shingle till the ocean tames
Their wildness. This is my holy land
Of childhood. Trying to comprehend
And learn it like the features of a friend,
Sight rides on power-poles and tops of trees
From the long eastern beaches and loud seas
League after league
Till definition fades in bluish vague
Distance: then dreams begin
To see in vision colourless and thin
Beyond the western foothills lost
The huge and desolate ranges of the Coast.

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