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Alpine Flower a Day: Giant Speargrass

Alpine Flower a Day: Day 15, Giant speargrass, Spaniard, taramea (Aciphylla colensoi)

– nearly tall as me, this one, and oh, what beautiful but dangerous golden flowers!

– Jan 2021, these needles found near the top of THE NEEDLE, Kahurangi National Park

Giant Speargrass, looking towards the Haystack, Kahurangi

notes from above-ground

there is no self-consciousness here

as in: there will be no likes for me

nor bitterness, you can bite

those paper skins all you like

without recrimination as if you were

Amazon at the top of the bloody world,

not a Spaniard in sight, I mean

not a tormented Russian having

an existential crisis in the tumid air

of internal pressure, retirement

and isolation. no, no isolation

here it is only dry heat and your feet

connected to the upward slope

of your profusion.

You might have picked up the references to Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground I was drawn to the idea of the prickly narrator and his suffering. I suffered multiple stab-wounds to my legs after this walk, a lot of it bush-bashing and trying to avoid their hidden spears in the undergrowth. Yet, the poem connects to the joy of being in the mountains; time spent there is what keeps me above-ground.

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!

Looking out to the West coast from the Needle, Kahurangi NP


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