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  • Writer's pictureKatie O'Brien

Day 36. Dec 10. Karamu Homestead to Pahautea Hut. 18km.

Updated: Jul 2

Another day, another poem. In the morning as I passed a meadow with cows grazing among rusting cars, an idea and a few lines of a poem popped into my head. By the time I reached Pirongia forest park an hour or so later, it was already formed and I made a video rather than writing it down. The start of the Pirongia forest and the 1000m or so ascent up to Pirongia peak was pleasant. But it started raining heavily towards the top. Reminded me of the Tararuas with the cloud-covered tops. This felt like the first proper hiking since Puketi forest way back on Day 9 on Nov. 12th. I met Justin, Sam, Talulah and Riorden again, plus Simone at Pahautea Hut. There was also a guy keeping to himself in one of the top bunks who didn't seem very well. We found out later he had COVID. This was the first hut on the trail so far. So for my poem:

Your People

Cows munch in a lush meadow, among discarded cars and vans. Silently bleeding orange as the metal returns to the earth.

Once they were a pride and joy, journey makers, cared for. Now, like an overgrown graveyard, a pang of lives long forgotten.

The rolling hills, enveloped in cloud, observe our passing, as we trumpet our achievements in the hollow echo chamber of our ego.

These too will be forgotten. These too will disappear. On the trail, you can conceivably discard everything. On the trail, you can plausibly want for nothing.

Except. Except for the quiet and fond company of family and friends. So make that call, have that hard conversation. Enjoy that coffee together, enjoy the warmth. Do stupid shit together.

These are the people who will speak at your passing. These are the people who will look to the sky or sit by the sea and wonder where you are now.

Your people.

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