New Year


Most of the literature I was brought up on was from the northern hemisphere so poetry which celebrated seasons never fitted my experience. Because of that I still get a thrill from the sense of connection with poems which come from a southern hemisphere perspective as this Friday’s choice does.

 It’s New Year by Ruth Dallas from Collected Poems, published by University of Otago Press, 2000.

New Year


The brimming year spills over in midsummer heat;

A deft wind combs the willow-branches

And coaxes small-talk from the poplar grove.

Tat dissolves in the deserted street.


My neighbours are gone to the sea or inland,

But I like this time of the year at home,

In the space left by motorbikes and a silenced guitar.

I watch a blackbird grow tipsy on gooseberries.


Doors and windows stay open. Three or four

Sheepswool clouds lie distant from the sun.

In the evening I carry water to the beans.

The sky darkens and the clouds grow a halo.


The moon looks up from the poplars

Like the bright eye of the pert blackbird,

Then expands into a luminous marrow-flower

This postcard is a view from earth.


                      – Ruth Dallas –

Blogging in absentia


We’ve spent the last 2 1/2 weeks in Argentina and almost all the posts since we left on December 14th have been ones I wrote in advance.

While we were away I did a few quick checks on Homepaddock when I had internet access which enabled me to respond to comments and correct the typos I’d missed (memo to self – learn to proof read).

But most of the time there were many other claims on my interest and attention which I’m relieved about because it proves I’m not addicted to blogging – something I feared I might be in danger of for a few weeks in late October and early November.

It was our fifth trip to Argentina and the primary purpose for this visit was to attend two weddings but we also celebrated Christmas,  renewed friendships,  visited farms, covered several thousands kilometres from Buenos Aires to Baiha Blanca, Mar Del Plata, Pergamino and back; drank wonderful wine, ate lots of meat . . .

When the body and brain have caught up with the clock I’ll blog on my reflections on my favourite country (outside New Zealand).

In the meantime – feliz año nuevo, may 2009 be a wonderful year.

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