Thursday, 22 July 2021

Lines and Lyrics from Christchurch - Otautahi

Riverside Market

Lines and lyrics from Christchurch - Otautahi

Lyrics of liveliness linger around
the Riverside market where
Christchurch folk gather around
picnic tables, chatting and consuming
pitas, pie and prawn pad Tai
conspiring to taste tangible moments
The tram trundles through the streets
on the rhythm of life in a resilient city
where orange cones sit like scattered
notes, in streets straight as chorus cords

Lament of relics of earthquake events
have settled like soft syllables on foreheads
of people who smile when the sunlight
leaks on their latté on the terrace at the
Art Centre Café, while a punter pushes
the flat-bottomed boat on the Avon
under an admiring sky scanning
a composition of tones of tender green
in harmony with daisies and daffodils
in this pleasant potpourri in Hagley Park

In this garden city, people walk on paths
curved like snakes on pale puffy hills up
to the rim, to be hypnotised when looking
in the aqua blue eye of Lyttleton harbour
Thoughts and trees reflect in this water
creating an ancient old hymn.

On the other side the Pacific laps
at the shore like a lullaby, pacifying
the passer-by, strolling on soft sand
All over people sing with silver tongues
the songs of belonging in lines and lyrics
that intone the strength, resilience
and charm of a city that harbours us

Arohanui Christchurch 💗

Punter in Hagley Park


Lyttelton Harbourt

Art Centre


  1. Hi Marja - certainly a happy New Zealand in all that's going on ... your poem evokes delightful memories. Wonderful photos too ... enjoy yourselves - cheers Hilary

  2. Christchurch,recovered from its earthquake, emerges from your poem as a lively city, with markets, busy streets, smiling people, parks and art centers.
    Lovely photos accompany the lovely Ode to your charming hometown!

  3. I'm glad Christchurch is happy again, and recovered. Nice to experience it vicariously, in such lovely detail.

  4. I like the image of the pale puffy hills. Lovely photos, and what an incredible art center!

  5. "Lament of relics of earthquake events
    have settled like soft syllables on foreheads"

    Gorgeous ode and tantalizing photos
    Happy Sunday

  6. Luckily I managed to visit New Zealand a few times years before Covid so I dont grieve at the thought of not ever visiting this beautiful country.

  7. " On the other side the Pacific laps
    at the shore like a lullaby, pacifying
    the passer-by, strolling on soft sand"

    I want to be that passer-by.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to a lovely city. So happy to hear it's recovering well.

  9. Christchurch seems like a beautiful place to live and work and play, from the details in your poem.
    Thank you for sharing the lovely photos of your city. :)

  10. Oh (sigh) it sounds lovely and I want to go there!!

  11. Love all the sounds and feels, the sight of people sharing the world, of souls "conspiring to taste tangible moments"--a stunning line.

  12. It is very important to love where you love. Lovely photos.

  13. I have visited your North Island ... must return for a journey South!!!

  14. Your poem, perfectly illustrated by your beautiful photos, could make anyone love Christchurch! Wish I had a magic carpet -- I would visit in a second!

  15. Beautifully written. Amid the incredible vistas, a danger of past earthquakes lingers bringing a sharper appreciation of the moments.

  16. Pacifing the passer-by with prawn pad thai. Love it.

  17. The scenes are so breathtakingly lovely and your words equally picturesque. Thank goodness we can live in the good moments and forget, at least a little, about yesterday’s disasters.


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