Arriving on an Island

Islands were once come-hither dangers

Rearing high out of blue ocean. Beckoning.

An island was a prize, rewarding those who risked

The crashing waves, the reef, the rocks and rips.

The lost sailor looked up to them in wonder.


Now we look down on islands.  We land in stiff planes,

Laden with soft toy turtles, snorkels, reef shoes.

We arrive at night and could be anywhere.


But after we leave the airport’s concrete and lights,

We look up to unexplored islands, stars so bright,

The same ones that pulled the first canoes

And guided the boatloads that followed.


The frangipani air is soft as talcum.

We hear a guitar and the music washes away

All thoughts of where we came from

Or when that was, if it ever was.


2 thoughts on “Arriving on an Island

  1. I really like this! There have been so many NZ poems that are island-based, and this goes past them and looks up! Shows we’ve made progress without chucking the baby out with the bath water [sorry, inappropriate cliché!]

    1. beez/thank you Jane. Yes, looking up is what we must do on islands, no matter how large they are. There will be three island poems. That is the first.

      On 16 October 2013 21:49, Janice Marriott's Year in Poetry

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