Trevor M Landers – From the Top of Paritutu

Landers LE P&W April 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing April 2024.

From the Top of Paritutu, poem byTervor M. Landers.

From the Top of Paritutu Rock

Far on the horizon
the imaginary cone
of a far more mammoth mountain
stretching out into the South Taranaki Bight
the centre scooped out like a kina shell
by some primordial eruption
twin cones dwarfed by what was there
the sentinel of Rua Taranaki.

Along the coast
the black iron sands rim the land
laced like a necklace of black pearls
the silica sparkling
in the benevolence of afternoon
the sea, navy and becalmed
licking the shore with timeless ennui.

From the top of Paritutu Rock
(the more arduous suicide spot)
the black heart of the province
poured out into huge vats and silos
a lake of contaminants
spoken about in hushed tones.

The Big, Glittering Universe,
considered from Okurukuru

The big, glittering Universe
is everything that happens.
outside the shadow of my emptiness
It is bodies of excitation shaking the grass
under the gleam of midnight
It is your eyes in the wind
whispers in the crimson of Rātā trees
even the sea feels like your hunger on my skin
The universe is an unelaborated secret floating in the infinities of time
and space I cannot imagine it without you
Love is the metamorphosis of a butterfly
craven obsession of a lepidopterist
the very jungle where nightly we come to dance.
The Universe is larger than the infinite,
the part of us made of nights and destroyed stars twinkling decay
It must be for us, if we can still fall in love.
Patina of obsidian glow on the waves near Okurukuru
moon and the sea renewing their courtship
cling with arms and legs & our heads spin like planets
In your hands, atoms and molecules of ancient beings
her breasts rising like the silhouette of the Pouākai range a landscape of seduction,
since time immemorial.

Climbing the Mounga from Upper
Kāhui Road as a Religious Experience

All else lies far beneath me,
Or in fact, above,
And I, between two worlds, uncertainly standing
It is a cool, crisp Sunday morning in summer
I am a pilgrim; this is not a climb
But a religious experience, to baptise my soul
Into the pool of this natural world
With eyes uplifted towards a vision of grandeur
Yet without power to soar upward
It is a long climb, trailed by piwakawaka
And old fallen totara rotting on the floor of the forest
The steps to heaven are built with love and dedication
But timid on the land in the face of awe
except this constant, strong desire to rise;
stronger with each step
It seems so strange the higher up we go—
The farther from earth’s suffering cries,
The stiller my heart becomes
I am dissolving into this sacred land.

© Trevor M. Landers

Trevor M. Landers has been widely published in NZ and aboard, He hopes to reprise his 2004 volume, To Rômania with Love to mark the twentieth anniversaruy. His next edited anthology called Ngā Pūrehu Kapohau (The Spinning Turbines) will be launched on 24 March 2024. He is following it up with a similar survey of another part of the province of Taranaki.

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