an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #01

Waitakaruru Arboretum

If you stand for long enough
on the edge of this cliff
and listen with all your heart,
you may hear a cello playing.

The sides of this granite quarry
were once scraped bare of gravel
for Waikato roads, leaving a hollow
skeleton, abandoned for thirty years,

At the bottom of the brutal story
you can now see a ruffled lake,
where flax and cabbage trees sway
pianissimo in the westerly wind;

Swamp cypresses like half opened umbrellas,
protect the jetty, jutting,
mossy and wooden among the Monet
waterlilies, shallow-rooted in the tears
of the tangata whenua.

Could music creep from a greywacke pit
long filled with blackberry and gorse,
and dance out of these rocky hill-sides,
poco a poco crescendo?
In a silence, will the very stones cry out?

Rest here at the top of the rock face
beside the fragile fence; see below
the cellist in afternoon shade , there.
You may hear strains of Vivaldi’s Autumn
from the pool of time. Just listen.