At the bay
Of manuka and pohutukawa
There is above, the park
Of linden, maple, oak and gum.
In autumn colours
Today, stands a tree.
Several silver branches lean fallen
From the recent storm.
Into the sky are
Arrayed, expanding flights of
Green and yellow, warm pink and orange
Amid dying claws of brown.
But look down –
Among the fallen, the graves
Of dark leaves hanging on silver, the one
Bright heart red, trembling.
The loose metal road climbs
up from the bay.
A walk in the park was a
walk through the past today.
Memory, as a whole, is a
warm capacity for feeling.
But every episode remembered
leaves me yet, in their multitude,
A trusty stick sweeps away the
wreckage before me, the single
feeling returns, as a warmth
in the air I’m breathing.
Across my shoulders it goes.
The posture, if a pose, still
expresses and slows into depth
this feeling, with hands,
like bridge supports, holding both ends.
The rocking of my spine, the
sure grip of both arms, and
pressing on uphill, a sudden sense
shifts the scene, as it feels
like it’s a rifle I’m shouldering.
A soldier returning, a cup of tea
when I’m home, if not company then
some toast with tomato and pepper.
My mind drops into a grave
and sombre respect for the brave.
As I trudge up said hill, the past
no burden but the warmth of the
present, all homes, built on the warmth
of those who protected, yet were
subject to trouble, neglect, dejection.