Tuesday Poem – Waitapu Wharf Photo Session

In the late afternoon
we search for beauty.
It is there in distant views
of misted mountains.
And trees
black against the dropping sun.
It is there in the Bay’s silken sea
and the dip of a bird.

I don’t see it here
where the fish factory rules
and scummy tides curl
through concrete blocks
and rusted steel.
Where in the canteen garden
a cigarette box
mocks the tired hebes.

But Emma finds it
in shadowed angles
of wooden crates
in coiled ropes
and in poles
reflected on quiet waters.

I wrote this poem around 2003, when my younger daughter was working on a photography assignment at high school. It was exactly as the poem says. I learned a lot on our trips there. Recently we paid the wharf a nostalgic visit. It hasn’t changed a lot.  Probably not as much as we have. We sat and ate our fish and chips and gazed out at the distance. It was a calm evening, broken only by the sharp dive of a gannet.

You can get an idea of the photos from the photos of the originals below.

Photo of a Photo Anchor Post at Waitap Wharf by Emma

Photo of a Photo
Anchor Post at Waitap Wharf by Emma

Photo of a Photo:The Boat L'Amour at Waitapu Wharf by Emma

Photo of a Photo:The Boat L’Amour at Waitapu Wharf by Emma

This poem is November’s Poem in the Window at Nelson Museum. It appears in one of the Trafalgar Street windows.

Photo of a photo: Waitapu Wharf collage by Emma

Photo of a photo: Waitapu Wharf collage by Emma

You can click here to return to the Tuesday Poem Hub page where this week’s guest editor is Claire Mabey. Claire is co-director of LitCrawl Wellington. LitCrawl brings words to the streets of Wellington on Saturday 15 November starting at 6 pm.

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – Waitapu Wharf Photo Session

  1. Is the fish factory still there? I guess not, as you seemed quite repelled by it in the poem; far too put off to eat fish and chips looking at it.

    I particularly like the image of the rope in a slip knot…what is at the end?

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