Long Range Forecast

August and still winter

but the purple irises are out

under the vine

and suddenly every branch and twig

of the plum is pricked with blossom.


This is an oath sworn by the season

hand on heart.

It’s in the sky too between showers.

The days are longer

and the wet green lawn is sprinkled

with a white hail of daisies.


Today looking down from the blue bridge

that crosses to Tamaki Drive

I saw three dogfish in a kind of formation

coming in with the tide.

The sun lay over the sea

out past Devonport, far out into the Gulf.


‘Soon,’ it whispered, ‘soon’

and I knew it could be trusted.



C K Stead


This is not quite the right season for Paula’s birthday – coming out of winter rather than going into it – but I think it’s in the spirit of Paula, hopeful, and with an eye on Auckland’s scene and seasons.

Happy birthday Paula, and love from Karl



One comment on “Long Range Forecast

  1. Reading this birthday poem for me on Poetry Day, your Poet Laureate Day seems perfect. The last poem to read on the shelf. I love the way the poem holds out its hand as though to make me pause and absorb. That delicious way a poem can elongate time, a moment, and make everything shimmer with utter lucidity and brightness. It sent shivers to read this. It is August and the bite of air as I ran along Bethells this morning was fierce, still frost in the paddocks but everything was gleaming in the countryside and at the beach. To come home to this poem was to enter that same gleam of place. Thank you Karl. Your poem on my Birthday Shelf meant so much to me. I adore it. Congratulations on your new position. My very best wishes for the next two years of poetry!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s