From Flight Paths by Margaret Jeune

Flight Paths

Monarch caterpillars crawl across my deck
Looking for a place to hang their chrysalides
Once hatched monarch butterflies flit around
My small backyard
Attracted by my flowering plants
The butterflies pause momentarily
Resting on flowers with open wings
Absorbing the sunlight
Before flitting back over my neighbour’s fence
The butterflies dance together
Indistinguishable from one another
As they flit in and out of view

Haere ra Tāne Mahuta

Sometime soon when darkness fades in Aotearoa
Tāne Mahuta will be no more
This giant kauri of the forest is dying
He is standing looking back over time
To a time when dinosaurs walked the earth
And man, was a mere smidgen on the landscape
Today tourists come and stare at his last stand
Yet every tourist stamps another nail in his coffin
Their steps disturb his roots
His grip on life continues to falter
Haere ra Tāne Mahuta
You stand amongst your fellows
Caretakers of a century which has destroyed
The landscape as you knew it
Too late mankind has tried to draw you back
From the edge of extinction
Smaller trees battle toward the canopy
For a glimpse of the horizon
What will they see in years to come?
Tree stumps or towering kauri?
Or will they themselves be sacrificed
To man’s progress?
A new road has been carved through your home
Tāne Mahuta
To bring yet more tourists
To gaze at your defeat
Will that road kill yet more of your fellow kauri?
Only time will tell
The tourists are none the wiser
A tree is a tree of course
No matter its history or future
Today it is a photo opportunity
A postcard
Not a living relic!

Poems © Margaret Jeune 2019