A Friday Poem by Bob Orr

A poem by Bob Orr to mark the long weekend of sunlight and water.

A Friday Poem

for Steve Braunias


I sailed out

in an open dinghy

a fibreglass dory with an outboard motor

that I launched in the creek

on a rising tide

not far below a cottage on a hill in Te Mata.

Keeping to the right until I'd cleared a submerged boulder

I then cut over to the left where the water was deeper.

Sailing out under the bridge

I heard the rumble

as a logging truck went over.

The First of Thames opening up before me

as I left astern a wave-broken oyster-white belfry of rock

known by the locals as Mexican Hat.

On that particular day

the water so clear I saw down to the bottom -

stones rounded off as in a mask of dreams

gazed mutely up to the world where I was passing.

To a sailor on Cook's Endeavour

as he sounded the shallows

they may have recalled a distant patch of freshly dug potatoes.

The wind was getting up

the sea turning nasty.

Amid the rough and tumble of waves

I remembered who told me "never sail on a Friday".

We value fearless, independent journalism. We hope you do too.

Newsroom has repeatedly broken big, important national news stories and established a platform for quality journalism on issues ranging from climate change, sexual harassment and bullying through to science, foreign affairs, women’s sports and politics.

But we need your support to continue, whether it is great, small, ongoing or a one-off donation. If you believe in high quality journalism being available for all please click to become a Newsroom supporter.

Become a Supporter


Newsroom does not allow comments directly on this website. We invite all readers who wish to discuss a story or leave a comment to visit us on Twitter or Facebook. We also welcome your news tips and feedback via email: Thank you.

With thanks to our partners