Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Poem: "Following Your Heart"

When the wind changes direction,
do your friends say that she is fickle?

Wheeling and soaring, the hawk searches
the sky's silent patterns for
whirlpools and eddies in the liquid blue,
following only the pulse of knowing that rises
in her breast and eye,
reading the ochre outcrops, the granite crags,
the shale shards and basalt buttresses,
the myriad forms of the thrusting, restless earth
that catch and shape the wind and sun,
melding invisible columns of power for the taking.
Fierce, steady eyes
scrutinise that patchwork of pIay,
tapping its effortless buoyancy
when the powerful sinew tires.
Like the hawk, you follow
the knowing,
wed to heart and bone
by the seamless lineage of trust and instinct.
That is the true voice
you hear
when you glide and ride
the pillar of easeful power:
the true voice

for the voices of your friends
can no longer be heard up here.


  1. Interesting--this is such a Central Otago poem, the hawk and the land. I am not sure about the final stanza though, do you think it could be too much "telling" as opposed to "showing", perhaps? Or do we need to see/experience more of the friends earlier, more than the opening couplet?

  2. Almost perhaps you have two poems in one, and they are both very powerful even as they tear each other apart.

    Still, one of my favourite poems this week.

  3. Valid comments from you both. Thanks Helen and AJ. That's a nice offshoot of TP - it's like a de facto poetry workshop sometimes. Mary often has very insightful observations about poems.

    Also, it seems that other people can often see weaknesses, or strengths for that matter, in your work that you don't always see. Creative distance, I suppose.

    Definitely worth a reworking.

    Curiously, Helen, the images in the poem are inspired by time I spent working in the Negev desert of Southern Israel. But I can see that there are similarities between there and Central Otago, strangely enough.