05

Flying to New Zealand

Hauled headlong starward by the quadruple conviction
Of lion-lunged engines in their pride of power
That roar for their prey on the fleecy cloud-veldt
The droves of distance and the dwindling hour,

We in their wake mounting winged as eagles
Are mingled with the moondrift, surprise time past,
As the hundreds and thousands of a glimmering coastline
Are brushed into darkness by our spurning blast,

Til we rest at the equipoise of sea and firmament
All night in the cradle of a rocking wing
And the clouds file by us in ceremonial order
And the stars wheel backward, and the engines sing,

And the ocean that was the adversary to Cook and Tasman
Crawls abject, tiny, through a cloud crevasse
And suddenly with sunrise we are in collision
And the sun boils molten from a gold morass,

And the long white clouds of the first discoverers
Lie billowed far below us, and the land they found,
As we sail transmuted in the solar morning
In a soaring solitude drenched and drowned.