Waiata Dawn Davies

I was born in 1925 near Horowhenua.  I was educated at Hastings High School, Ardmore Teachers College, Massey University and University of Queensland (St Lucia). I taught mainly in Rotorua, and retired from teaching in 1990. I now spend my time writing and travelling. Home is a fishing crib at the mouth of the Waitaki River.  I have eight sons and a swarm of grandchildren.


At three score years and twenty-five
each new sunrise is expected
and every expectation now requires
enormous deeds of faith.

At night I set rolled oats to soak
for tomorrow’s breakfast,
take meat from the freezer
for tomorrow’s dinner
iron tomorrow’s clothes.

And I tidy my bookshelves
just in case I don’t wake up.

Driving North on Christmas morning

Soon after sunrise I shall drive
north on the empty highway
around bends and over bridges

through silent towns
past shuttered shops
abandoned petrol pumps

parking meters will stand
at attention along deserted streets
where I shall surf green waves

perhaps I shall see
some ecstatic six year old
wobbling on a pristine bike
across a daisied lawn

but otherwise the world
will dream in sabbath serenity
and sunlit silence until

I reach that familiar gate
turn in and stop
alone for a moment

until a medley of grandchildren
sons with beaming wives and
a cacophony of dogs
will gather round the car

together we will surge
like the receding tide
back into the house

the tree the tinsel the turkey
the silly gifts all wrapped
in so much love

and Christmas will begin at last.

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