The Otago Hubcap Ashtray School of Painters Dreams of Spring
It comes out of shadow and goes back there,
pressing on the body the weight of sunlight.
It delves between leaves to bees entombed
and birds’ nests woven from thin twigs.
It breathes and secretes the smell
of its mineral earthiness.
The land wells up like green ink
and runs away across the white sky
in lines inexorable, flowing, obsessive,
binding with sub‑shoots variously quirky
before rejoining the mainstream, the confluence, the knot
of double spirals, rolling grooves, hypnotic whorls.
Printed with koru ferns, raw welts drip
onto the beaded epidermis underneath rainshadow.
Early gloxinias and foxgloves thrust
through the burst ribcage of a weatherboard shed.
Double‑barrelled shotgun blossom splatters
red‑raw knuckles of claybanks,
the spun‑gold public floss of gorse.
Raindrops pluck tiny, drowned volcanoes
from a belly of water slipping up the mudflats.
Wildfire travels through the whale‑cloud
from waterspout to waterspout.
Towns are dark arks sailing over spelling mistakes,
words are a closed book.
Wet‑mouthed neon dribbles down it,
forests of eyelashes brush it,
the buttery complexion of a hedge smears it.