Timaru is Portmeirion where Patrick McGoohan
is forever pursued by malignant balloons.
My birth city, quaint and Edwardian capital of propinquity,
shelter of cabbage trees, where old wives sit
where their mothers and mothers’ mothers sat
twitching curtains, judging and tut-tutting.
There Caroline Bay is a perfect papaya slice
of white porcelain.
There Richard Pearce in his heart flew and harbour
of champion boxers, quasi-divine
racehorses, master poets and heroic painters.
Riviera of the South - but then everything
is something else of somewhere with that coordinate
- lingering in its hermetic
Shangri-la of an afternoon; unchanging, immutable.
I like to go to the low walls of the bay and read the names:
Trescault, Crèvecœur, Puiseaux,
Paschendale, Miraumont, Rossignol.
That’s its own poetry.
An earlier version was published in Landfall Spring 2009