Wind and Thorn

The summer day
That love was born
The wind whipped
The budding thorn

The winter day
That love was dead
The thorn ripped
and the wind bled.

Kevin Ireland

Poetry Home Page
  Economical, and deceptively simple.  
  Summer Evening: Piha

The old men, smoking on their porches,
squint like experts
down the barrel of the bay;
day's violence continues...
Eternally the fragile surf
is shattered on this iron beach.

High-strung clouds are wracked
by the bow of virtuoso wind;
arrogant boys prepare their tune,
strut like prodigies,
pore over the scores of maidenheads,

awaiting the instrumental moon.
This evening the smell of the sea
is drifting over the night-tide sand:
and the thin breezes are beds of lifted hair,
wound tight, like the moist strands
of the tobacco which the old men roll
like bullets in their hands.

Kevin Ireland


The old men who frame this poem have always fascinated me - especially now I've a couple of arrogant boys of my own. It is a very different take from Fairburn's "...wave, that holds the summer in its green concave", but I have always loved the sea and beach poems which New Zealanders seem to write so magically.