First day of the new year. First walk. First photos.

We walk up and across the almost familiar track to where the clay was dug for kokowai, the blood-ochre for decorating and protecting important places. The air is sticky warm under the gray sky. We climb the sharp ridge and stand where blood was spilt, not gathered. Here, many have met their deaths: this was once a pa and the battlements ran past where our feet are planted high above the surf. In ancient times justice was meted by throwing people from here; and now a bunch of flowers marks  another, more recent grief. We look for gannets falling from the sky but see none. Instead,  I feel the old sad ones, the fallen, around me. I have no fear of them, nor they of me.

We walk back.

There are wildflowers.

The signs sing.


Gene Packwood said…
You are a Bishop with a good eye. 2012 blessings.
Nell NZ said…
Appreciate your thoughtful word-images for a new year, Bishop; I was in Dunedin walking recently - deeply enjoyable!

Elaine Dent said…
Lovely photos. Words evoke a sensitive connection to place. Thank you for the post.
Jason Goroncy said…
Sorry to have missed you. We were also there over new year's.