Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ellaraine Lockie

WAI-O-TAPU (Sacred Water)

A New Zealand geothermal wonderland
Where underground streams
still scalding from volcanic eruptions
suck minerals from rocks
Spit them out in sulfur steam
piercing the air with its sharp stench

Soon dulled by rainbow residuals
from other minerals
Springs and pools dyed
And crater crusts and terraces tinted
in ever-changing shades of yellow
orange, green, purple and blue
Balanced with red-brown and black
painted by carbon and iron oxide

Other antidotes for sulfur air
attach to sound waves
Soulful bellbird songs
from scattered bush land
Splash of water rushing rocks
Bubbling hot springs
And rhythmic burps from mud pools
The earth’s heartbeat

The ground is alive with gushing geysers
Steam exhaled by the inferno beneath
Hypertensive hisses to hill-top heights
That manifest like mirages
around every turn in the bush trail

A rift in the interwoven rainforest
where spiders lace silver ferns
with doilies deadly to winged prey
Where at night kiwis forage for food
Glowworms cast their deception in green
lighthouse beacons for unsuspecting insects
And from where surely Maori gods
can be seen at sunrise
soaking in the baths of Wai-O-Tapu

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