Trapped in the Louvre


You can get bored with beauty.

This extraordinary road from Greymouth to Westport.
Coastal cliff top roads are iconic, think Big Sur.
Add green-topped coveys of rocks,
mum, dad and the chicks
sandstone and limestone cliffs in evening light and shadow,
disordered ranks of surf, row on row in the sinking sun,
Nikau palms in groves,
cicadas louder than Van’s Poetic Champions Compose played loud.

This is better than Kaikoura where you don’t have
the perspective of height.
The first time you see a covey of rocks you sigh and stop and snap.
The fifth time you sweep into a cove of cliffs you say ahhh.
The tenth you think that’s lovely.
Then you hit Punakaiki, dodge the penguins,
take seventeen shots of wekas as they wander,
curious and cheeky as fat brown magpies,
see the layered pancake cliffs.
Sit high above
the rolling silhouetted lines of pounding surf,
hear the muffled woooff of cave formers
directly beneath your feet.
Feel the earth tremble, breath, sigh, sigh.
and it’s all too much,
especially late in the evening,
as slowly the sun sinks into the sea.

It’s like being trapped in the Louvre for a week.

You can get bored with beauty,
so why these tears,
and why
have I
never felt
more alive.

Chris Perley
South Island Road Trip
2012

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2 Responses to Trapped in the Louvre

  1. Scott Willis says:

    Beautiful Chris! Heard from Kent Chalmers that he met you and was singularly impressed, and I hope inspired, by your perspective! Please note my new email address and I will be chasing you up soon for an essay for our Cuppa Tea (see on my signature… Cheers Scott

    Like

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