trout [ 9 ] October 2001
Blair Reeve 

The Eastland High Road

Opotiki gateway
      opens to the live
road and drive along its
glorious rugged shores
sloshing their unswum waves around
      these boundaries’ moors,

and up bush-clad cliff-tops
      of steeple stature,
where views lure the tourist
to park by the sun
and marvel in the sea-peace for
      a half horizon,

until one of many
      inlets bids you in
to its Hicks B & B,
there wake off yourself
in an East Cape cove; Eastland’s bent
      continental shelf.

Turning south, Gisborne-bound,
      fish through seas of tree
tapestry and contour,
a necklace of bays
hangs around your week like a plait
      of slack Saturdays.

Below Tolaga Bay,
      atop Cook’s Cove, viz;
valley of splendour,
is panoramic cinema
      to a visitor

filming in mind those old
      barrels rolling through
that clear blue salt lagoon
to Ngati Porou
in their homeland, go your epic’s
      historic cargo.

The things I bring back with
      me are memories
like these; the imagined
Endeavour’s earliest
navigation when sighting those
      trees from the crow’s nest.

Young Nick’s Head in summer
      sprouts red tinsel hair,
the flair of the high road
and coastal décor,
unknown on the low roads that miss
      all this and more.



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© 2001 Trout &
Blair Reeve