The Waipakihi

by Ivan Donn Carswell

Access Road Fifteen they named it
this anonymous road to the Waipakihi
where its brawling water becomes Tongariro.
A moment’s journey across a horizon
anchored in haze-ridden Taupomoana
distanced, but jewelled in my thoughts.

Ruapehu, sentinel, guides my track
between summer-melt waters
deep-rent in shear sided gullies
to the beech-clad foothills of Kaimanawa.
Tongariro, and young Ngaruahoe
mark my passage with silent gaze.

The air is thick with solitude
in this suddenly unpeopled wilderness
of tussock which barely nods.

Dipping down to the river
where the forest swallows hillsides
and the water turns about itself
my switchback road clings to the cliffs
unawed, inanimate.

Without leaving I have left the yoke
of commerce and its groan along the Desert Road
it doesn't enter here
where Waipakihi turns about itself
and becomes Tongariro.
© I.D. Carswell

Last updated May 02, 2015