PATONGA NSW - a favourite reflection

1 History NZ and the Pacific

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just before the harvest begins 2010

Paused for the picking
The silent vines stand in rows
Golden leaves around their skirts
Masking rich clusters, like small children
Hiding from the pickers

The picking team waits
Glowing in fluorescent colours
Bins at the shoulder-arms
Trucks at the ready
For it is harvest in the morning

Grapes by the ton, ready to flow
Their rich juices into gleaming towers
Table-destined in two years or more
With a label, a screw-cap
And a soft glow on a thousand palates

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oceania: Dennis Knight Turner

Dennis Knight Turner was unkown to me before last night. For anyone with a joy in Oceanic Art this exhibition of watercolours, painted at speed in 1992 when the artist was 68, was a revelation. Derivative works reflecting a long term of studying, absorbing and reflecting Oceanic art concepts and imagery. Forget whether Europeans are entitled to borrow from other cultures (they do anyway) the line, simplicity, tones and evocation of the Pacific shone through in these works.

His story and the story of these works are worth reading. For me it was an exhibition of quality, thank you Barb Speedy and Luit Bieringa for presenting them to the world of the unaware.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Morning Mist at Portage

Silently, the mist flowed over hills in the moonlight
Wrapping around the beachfront pines
Sliding over still waters
Glowing in the midnight moon
A blanket covering the Sound, stilling the owl

The moon-washed sea - grey, merging to silver
No ripples to break the stillness
Day comes, mist muffles murmurs from the beach
Nothing moves, sea shines in reflected God-Light
Breaking through the layers above

Mist withdraws, imperceptibly,
Faint breeze threatens the mirror surface, then fades
Watery sun tries a break through
Mist resists, returns, blue-grey, threatening
Sun wins, a glorious technicolor day

Copyright Dain Simpson 2009

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Post

This is the First Post, which is much better than the Last Post, particularly for a dog walker, but then if you suffer my blog you will find the absurdities, abstruse historical illusions, non-sequiturs and other things I am guilty of, frequently.

Today I learned that the town in which I live, Picton, also has a verb 'to picton', a neologism stemming from 18th century scandal sheets describing the trial of Sir Thomas Picton folowing some rather unsavoury practices while Governor of Trinidad. Specifically he suspended a young girl (13 in one source 14 in another) by one arm, with her foot on a stake (flat from one source, sharpened from the other) a practice which became known as 'Pictonning'.

Picton subsequently lost his hat, and then his head, at Waterloo, but not before he had been given the Bath by Prinny (whose mother gave her name to the stretch of water we see every day) for his successes in the Peninsula Wars. Well he didn't actually lose his head but it was rather a mess and somewhat fatal.

Here endeth the lesson