portrait of a farmer

portrait of a farmer

second try
made it to
the end
of that road
to the last
bend where
the hills open
out a river mouth
of black sand
beach that opens
out a slot of ocean
tiered in surf
between the heads
of shaped sand
and marram grass.
here looking
inland toward
the hills of
this place you
tried to settle in
i found the poem
i missed that
first time
that
the leanness
the toughness of
these hills
the gentle sky
were you
the beard
rimu ponga
cut clean at
the ridge
the face of tracks
the flocks have
trodden into
the slope
few words as
ever enough,
river, ridge,
the flood out
of season,
the wild
scratching
growth, nothing
to remark on
just the land
and the wind
getting about
its business

marokopa 2013

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4 thoughts on “portrait of a farmer”

  1. Great walk through a place I once saw in younger years. Great fishing past the surf line, just beyond those salted slopes.. Nice work Pete, perfectly stated. 🙂

  2. Thanks, for your readings, my companions in ‘letters’. I’m delighted if that attempt to marry the beauty, the desolation with a human tenderness worked. It surely is a most brutally beautiful desolation down that coast! Glad the line breaks might have helped, Marco.

  3. Love this poem. The leanness, the toughness. The gentle sky. Peter, the engineering is spot on: your line breaks heighten the feeling, the beauty, the desolation. It’s, as you say:

    just the land
    and the wind
    getting about
    its business

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