Old Paekakariki Hill Road

There’s a crash, forcing road closure. I don’t often
come this way, but once again I’m reminded

of history, or mystery. Poems by Sam Hunt,
of where this old road cuts through Battle Hill

to the summit of peace. At the top, overlooking Kapiti,
you recall Te Rauparaha or look on to Pukerua Bay

and think of the Campbells’ hilltop home. I came
this way once with Michael to see a film about young Lennon

before The Beatles. Now I’m coming this way again
to launch a book of railway journeys by Michael.*

David McGill’s Promised Land is a novel of the area.
His Bugle Boy calls out like The Last Post, haunting, resonant.

Farms eke out their smells. Horses, saddlery, dogs about,
farmers clean their fences, artists’ galleries; the road has its say.

Poem © Mark Pirie 2016

*Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems by Michael O'Leary