Alpine Flower a Day: New Zealand Harebell

Alpine Flower a Day: Day 26, New Zealand harebell, (Wahlenbergia albomarginata)

white little flower, about a centimetre wide

– these ones on the track near the summit of Mt John, Lake Tekapo


The poem today was first published by Barren Magazine in 2020 – thank you, editors!


Medicine Woman of Sacred Plants of Aotearoa - I


Patient Notes: Depression; inhabiting the past; haunted by the past

Treatment: The tenacity essence – Wahlenbergia albomarginata, the native harebell


I have never seen anyone so stuck as she

her aura as grey and flat as a moraine lake on an overcast day

where the tiny harebell glows white as the moon on her banks and calls

to the moth for continuity in times of transformation.

White, little flower, as her baby’s face as she lay in her cot, lit by the streaks of dawn

as though sleeping,

as though the grey she carried from that day forward hadn’t imbued everything

with shapes before dawn when her husband reaches for her and she turns away,

and her living daughter cries for her, even now, from across the seas,

and she lets it take her body in equal measures of numbness and pain

like dough that will not be kneaded.


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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