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FEBRUARY SPILLS THE CREEK
However duck go spanking
those brown as coffee waters
slim Ophelia will not glide
disastrously their willows.
What is it comprehends
affairs of natural order,
marrying very private grievance
into such wealth of ceremony
as tragic beauty, which dismays?
Willows, being graceful, bow
tokening repentant show
because they lack right maidens
for the birds’ least honour.
Our time’s unserviceably
dulled by disorder of these gales;
made dull (some hold) by a decorum.
Impetuous and coffee-brown
whipped up to creaming water pelts
willows to yielding, which abates.
What fits is only unbecoming;
a crack that splits our Golden Queen,
her unwise fruiting gone awry.
No wise memorial made our day.
                                                                 24. 2. 58
Editor's note
February Spills the Creek: first published in Flying to Palmerston; the Wairau Creek was close to KS’s house in Nile Road; Golden Queen: a variety of peach
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