IFSA Butler





Lack of Black

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I staggered in bursts

When I first learned to drive

My step-father brought me

to a bank parking lot

and told me to weave

through a bright orange spine

set deep in the asphalt black

and unforgiving as coal

When I first drove the roads

Of the long white cloud

I had to learn again-

Look right then left not left

Then right, but the roads are always green

here in Erewhon

That staggering box

Was an anxious shell

But this,

This machine, whose organs

Are unfamiliar to me,

Is as hollow as water.

Each dusty window

a white rapid slideshow

Only sheep and the rolling hill motion

Of ruts and sprouting tussocks

Surrounded by goldenrod flowers of

Gorse, the thorny invader

That snakes through the shrugging shoulders of grass

While I was traveling, my friend Kristy invited me to stay with her on her family’s farm. They owned a 12,000 acre sheep farm in Taihape. That weekend she took me on a four-wheel drive fundraiser that the community did every year. They paid to participate in a tour of the farm land to raise money for the local schools. It surprised me that native kiwis were so engaged with the land they lived on.