Travellers' Impressions
Stories & Articles from around the World

New Zealand

If my pen was a paintbrush and an artist was I,
Could I begin to portray from the earth to the sky,
The land that I'm seeing, beholding with awe -
If I blink, will I miss all the wonders I saw?

The morning - each morning, the symphony plays,
As birds in their hundreds, their thousands of ways,
Are singing their magic, all throbbing with sound,
When I open my eyes- there's just me around.

For whilst there is music, the silence reigns strong,
On vast, empty beaches with driftwood along.
Trees from a time when the land was plucked bare,
Man used greed and his hands to stay alive there.

I'm aware of some history, but not all, it's true.
Just a part of the picture I'm painting for you.
The wrongs have been righted (or so I've been told)
So the land may retain some traditions of old.

But today a new century and I'm passing through.
If only my 'paintbrush' could paint it for you.
The crystal blue waters, with rapids for glee
and sipping your wine with great food, lazily.

The slow pace of life makes you think, makes you stare.
Be frightened to miss what I tell you is there...
From deer running wild, unfettered and free,
to brilliant fishes at home in its sea.

Majestic mountains at every view turn,
En route to Franz Joseph - its cascading fern.
So skilled were the men, who cut through with their hands,
And courageous are they who let us on these lands

For tourists mean future. How long can it last,
Alone on the beach, as a sole yacht sails past?
Hotels and cafes, and 'Backpacker's' stuff,
In quantity needed - there's never enough.

So come when you're able, whilst there is still time,
To appreciate beauty and rest is no crime.
It can't last forever, 'though I hope that I'm wrong,
For nothing replaces the final bird's song.

Wendy Hughes

Copyright © Wendy Hughes 2008