A storm was forecast but had not arrived
by the time I had to leave. You said, surprised,
What a beautiful night. You said it twice
as we stood on your verandah and listened
to the sou’wester gusting in the trees,
watched it burring the silver waters
of the harbour all the way from Carey’s Bay
to Taiaroa and reaches beyond my comprehension;
the light on the sea sounding (if one can
hear light) like cow bells tinkling
across a white field. In the oil-stained bay
yachts swung on their moorings, straining,
and I hoping to be home
before the first wild shower of rain.
– from Listening to the River (Dunedin: McIndoe, 1983).