Tuesday Poem: “Juice of Nelson Haven” by Helen McKinlay
Juice of Nelson Haven
At the vineyard
the cool dudes gather
let the waves of wine
flick and swill
across their palates
erasing past memories
crisp, young and fresh
definitely fruit driven.’
At the Boulder Bank
the cool crabs gather
as the tide
flicks and swills their palates
erases muddied memories
undertones of treated poo
(c) Helen McKinlay
Reproduced here with permission.
About the Poem: The Poet’s Note
In summer 2009-10, I was house sitting at Atawhai in Nelson. We had great views of Nelson Haven and the Boulder Bank, an internationally renowned natural spit of boulders. Thirteen kilometres in length, it protects the Haven from the wilder waters of Tasman Bay. It is reached by a road which accesses on one side the practicalities of sewage disposal and on the other, at low tide, the mudflats, which stretch back to the shore. There is a marvellous quiet to be experienced out there, walking on the seabed, so distant from the land.
Another Nelson experience which holds great mystique for me is the cult of wine tasting. I was fascinated by the contrast and similarities between these…the crabs waiting in the mud for food bearing seawater, the wine tasters sipping the fruits of the land and the sewage treatment plant…opposite ends.
It was instinctual to write this poem in a style as crisp as the wine and the incoming tide. It has been published in Boulder writers 3 (Boulder Press 2011), featured in the Nelson Museum window, and recorded for Fresh FM Nelson.
About the Poet:
Helen McKinlay, a member of Tuesday Poem community, is also a published children’s author, well-known for the best selling Grandma series. At present she is spending time in Auckland with her family. She blogs at gurglewords.
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