“Karangahake Gorge”

Water ran around me:

flowing mountain crystal

mixed with filtered light,

falling through foliage above –

a symphony of sensation

in ferned glades with

every kind of green and silver

bathed in summer light.

 

A burnt temple of tree,

once massive kauri,

sentinel of the greenlands,

stands stark and hollow.

From within, feeling electrified,

I know the earth is a conductor

of acoustical resonance,

singing from here, its soul.

 

I remember all this,

seeking words in a forest

like small pieces of poems

left waiting to be found

on an overgrown path,

but I remember the faces more,

my fellow walkers and

Beethoven’s Ninth.

 

The crashing choral chorus

proves that, even in dark caves,

the human voice has always

resonated most.

 

This poem was written with a quote from The Interpreter (2005) in mind, but I can’t find an easy link, so here it is:

 

The gunfire around us

makes it hard to hear.

But the human voice is different…

Even when it’s not shouting.

Even when it’s just a whisper.

Even the lowest whisper

can be heard over armies

when it’s telling the truth.

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