Writing in Whangarei


On the Fringes Diving

on this island of ecological principles and energy cycling,
the nutrients that find themselves embedded in cellulitic tangles and mesh,
calling it a forest, describing it a jungle,
a piece of subtropic, the Pangea of ngatui,
on a path that epiphytes nikau palmate
and the ranges Tutamoe
roll their smooth contours and bluff over maroon clay,
at Mirowharara Waipoua junction,
Primnopitys and Dacrydium,
stood there and leaned,
putting the package on it,
re-ravelling the thread that knots and tied tangling
on the fringes,
on the fringes diving

The Alphabet is an Ocean of Diatoms, Plankton, Radiolaria and Whales

This is the long dream that flies to languages never before imagined, where stars are taniko clocks and Mare tranquilatus soaks up nights vortex, hours circumscribed as Bryophyta, kowhai, cicada and grasshoppers pouncing on flies ants mozzies and aphids, soaked in gelatine, molten in trajectories Te Ahuahu, Ohaewai, Puketutu, and puriri at Ruapekapeka, the pakeha mezmerization of silk turquoize and limbs, in this place throwing out and collapsing waves the numbers the symbolic scripts.

Walking across a field, in the distance the hills roll purple, sun blares clear, in a city climbing trees, the branches describing names talking into a day, the walls sing violins my heart fills with the sweat and clamour of Asiatic bazaars spiced air in smoked chicken and dust Palembang, Pekanbaru, Bukittinggi Sumatra, overloaded buses churning up gorges and ravines, skidding over tracks to villages huddled in the scarified ruins of jungle cutover and swamp river deltas breathing monsoon rains and fish

This is the conformity of my language the cage I shake, accents of speech the sings of discourse and rhythms in conversation, my vocabulary evacuated. It begins with algebra, arithmetic, a calculus, intersticies of paradox that click and fold away, displacements over these surfaces where air and water meet, coordinates filtering through magnetic anomalies contoured; primal alignments rotate, a chord stretching to Aleutians.

Withdrawing into whare pataka, cayenne paprika kumara and cashew summits crossing aubergine tomato citrus pulling hydrogenated ions oil rivers slipping on orchid fine where ivy crawls from scoria walls, I fall through cataracts of glass wings flailing in a furnace of materials moulded by equations of valency and spark, molecular  weights, the catalytic fuse that streaks like mynas tearing  open the day, scraping off shearing anthracite skies cast and brittle with the impression of continents, galaxies and stars, the coal it leaks fermentations of gum and volatilites, perfect symetries of carbon and halides, that flame tweak twist and burst Maungatautari, Maungatautari, Maungatautari

-Piet Nieuwland


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