The Weather Dictates? – and from New Zealand …

How much of poetry is dictated by the weather. Put another way how much does weather dictate poetry. I came across the following in a Hotel in New Zealand …


Here are the words from the above image …

Remember when it always used to rain. Fifty years ago a visitor to Hokitika (a town on the west coast of South Island) wrote the following after receiving a week of unseasonable weather.

It rained and rained and rained –
the average fall was well maintained.
and when the tracks were simply bogs
it started raining Cats and Dogs.
After a drought of half and hour,
we had a most refreshing shower,
and then the most curious thing of all
a gentle rain began to fall.
Next day was also fairly dry,
save for a deluge from the sky,
which wetted the party to the skin,
and after that the rain set in.

Well what do you  do when confined by the weather and nothing to do – this person vented his frustration in the above words – which probably forced a non-poet into such expression.

Here is a New Zealand poem written after walking on the cliffs at Cape Foulwind, Westport, South Island – and as the name suggests a most unhospitable place. However, the view of the seals playing on the rocks at the foot of cliffs was well worth the discomfort of the walk in the wet.


Cape Foulwind Walk

on a summer day winter crowds-in to submerge
the sky and sea sweep together enclosing thoughts
no imagination is needed for this foul named place
this country continually perforated by wind driven rain

the weather deepens impregnating every footstep
the old gortex has had its day and dampens from the inside
but the path is set along the cliffs to the promised sight of seals
as wekas scout around before darting to their rabbit hole existence

then that point is reached when saturated by the wet
there is a resigned acceptance absorbed to the conditions
but when wailing gutteral sounds waft up in the squall
thoughts turn inside out to the rocks far below

oblivious of any impending storm, with thick skin immunity,
at home, on vacant rock spaces, in waterhole pools,
and indolent in the continual spray of the Tasman chunder,
the seals slub around regardless, in elemental play


Richard Scutter 15 March 2010

Weka – Flightless New Zealand bird about the size of a chicken

Your word in my ear ...

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