august 2021
written for the National Poetry Day Given Words Competition 2021

Looking for the discarded feast… wandering black-backed gulls… a Weathercat weather snap

the estuary
on the playing fields
winter punched
with sprig
summer hard
as cricket ball
you see the
black-backed gulls
wandering as though
lost on the ground
yet not forsaking
it, even in the
gust where all
it takes
is to hold
their wings open
and they’re
raised with an
upward swoop into
the storm’s sprung
face of dusk
like a soul
on the way up
on last breath
Continue reading “wandering”

end of the join

end of the join
Te Reinga, 2008

we stood
at the end of
the land
that joins us
the end
of the summer baches
propped on shadow
down dry lawns
the run of hills
under cloud of cloud
onto hills
waking to frost
in a door
of sun
mountains gathering
this land from the
sea in brilliant armfuls

our youth was
leaping from a
wire fence
the sag
& fall

we stood there
where all this
folds back
into a
this flourish
of land in a
of trawling oceans
my brother & i
took photos of
each other
against the sky that
settles in white beyond
the last swerve
of wave

we knew the join*
below us
in that tide
how it wends
the rocks of
final breath*
the stone in the heel
we’ll turn to
brush free
to leave this

*The joining of the two oceans (Tasman Sea & Pacific Ocean’, visible as different colours and the ragged line of their washing together

*The western most island (Ōhau) of the Manawatāwhi (Three Kings) islands, that are visible from Te Reinga, is the place in Maori mythology where departing souls take their last view of Aotearoa before returning to Hawaiki, their ancestral home.

Copyright © 2022 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

Click on the link above to hear a reading of the poem.  The accompanying music is from the opening minutes of NZ composer Jenny McLeod’s ‘Seascapes’, a setting for piano trio of Pieces 8 and 11 from her ’24 Tone Clock Pieces’, arranged at the request of Jack Body for a commemoration concert to Douglas Lilburn.  The piece is performed here by Ashley Brown (cello), Sarah Watkins (piano) & guest violinist Natalie Lin for this performance in August of 2017, funded by NZ on Air, and recorded by RNZ Concert.

silk road

silk road
a tale of magic and mystery of old Cathay and the Taklamakan Desert, the ‘place of ruins’ through which the Silk Road ran
march 2022

This image of the Taklamakan is by traveller/photographer Hiroki Ogawa and licensed for sharing under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

of a place
better than
gold or silver
could measure,
men said,
yet no myth
no traveller
warned me
as i shouldered
the curtains
of dusk
with a smile
like silk wavered
_______in sky
she asked
where i was heading
what land i sought
guided me on
pointing with
hand to
the silk road
_______its line
under moon
Continue reading “silk road”

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