Alpine Flower a Day: Common mountain daisy, pekapeka

Alpine Flower a Day: Day 24, Common mountain daisy, pekapeka (Celmisia gracilenta)

– a tufted plant with silvery leaves, and flowers about 2-3cm wide

– this Celmisia occasionally lives on rocky banks on the hills behind us, fancy that! (as well as all over the hills of Aotearoa)


The shape of common daisy


When I colour-fill your name

at the side of my page,

you are not common, nor

a daisy; you could be

the North and South Islands

lying on their sides in a

sun-drenched sea. A long-tailed bat

wings closed, now open, a flutter

overhead. A bat, a baseball bat,

and its damage – the flattened fruit,

only pulp and puddle on the floor.

A streak and a blotch. Discarded

clothing – trousers and a top.

You are definitely floating in

the filtered light of my lashes, dark

biro on white margins.


Common Mountain Daisy on Summit Road, Heathcote, photo by peter_sweetapple on iNaturalist


Had my writing classes back today and got home feeling stuffed! So this poem comes from an exercise I gave my students to consider what their own names looked like when coloured in. We were talking about naming characters and all the associations that go with that. Feel free to try to it at home ;)


If you're interested in the inspiration behind this month-long series of 'An Alpine Flower A Day' about NZ alpine flowers and poems, you can find more in my first post: An Alpine Flower A Day Enjoy!

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