Air Be and Be—a poem

Photo of small art deco apartment block in Wellington, New Zealand.

Novella is my apartment, top centre of this dear old art deco building in Wellington, New Zealand. AirBnB guests come from all over the world, and they are welcome.

Air Be and Be

You, a stranger, will arrange
and pay to stay with me.
Here is a space I love and share.
It’s not your kind of space
and so you’re free to like it or dislike it.

You may find something that appeals.
Perhaps the cat
or the Japanese bath
the messy books or kombucha
or just the bed.

And I can like your savoir faire
or laser brain or plaited hair
or donkey farm
like you for your age or for your youth
for your energy or for your pain.

Privately on display for just two days
we sample one another
we breathe each other’s air
glimpse a watercolour charm
and be and be and then
we go our separate ways.

Rachel McAlpine 2019


I’m an AirBnB host in Mount Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand. A series of always delightful people stay with me for 2–5 days if and when it suits us both. Original incentive: extra income after retirement. Ongoing incentive: the pleasures that I have outlined in the poem above, Air Be And Be. Guests have their own bedroom, bathroom, and living space, and we have a floating interaction. It’s almost otherworldly, the dance we perform, meeting, showing, talking, and going our separate ways. I enjoy my role as a Superhost (oh yes) very much. Idiosyncratic envoys from the wider world world enter my personal territory, bringing fresh air and positive vibes. Thank you all!

Poem and photo CC BY 2.0 Rachel McAlpine

 

16 thoughts on “Air Be and Be—a poem

  1. Sadje says:

    An enterprising initiative

  2. If I ever have the opportunity to come to Wellington from my domicile in middle America, I will certainly try to book a stay with you! Your residence looks charming, and I would love to share your air. 🙂

    1. We do have good air and yours looks very exotic. Do come! Toutparmoi lives nearby.

  3. I am a big fan of Art Deco! If I ever get to New Zealand (fingers crossed), I would love to stay there – and, of course, meet you IRL!

  4. We do Air Be and Be (love that!) when family do not require our downstairs flat. It is hard work cleaning and re-setting the space, but yes, fascinating. (And getting to Super Host status is a rewarding pat on the back). At the moment however we have son, d-i-l and wee granddaughter downstairs – which is a complete joy. Maybe we’ll go back to the Air BnB next year. It’s fun on the whole and a few extra $. Love your poem! A great idea. That would be good to pop into the Welcome book.

    1. Aha, you too! Hm, the welcome book: what a good idea.

      1. Do you receive the Airbnb Superhost Newsletter Rachel. It would be great if you forwarded this poem to this publication. I hope you are well. Love Myra

      2. Myra, that is such a good idea. I probably will. thanks!

    2. Yes Im going to print it out and put it in my airbnb guest room…love it!

  5. rhinophile says:

    An extra incentive to visit New Zealand! Your accommodation looks delightful!!

    1. Do come! I would love to meet you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Utinam… Latin conjunction introducing a wish, as in : “Would that I could visit..” And you probably thought no one speaks Latin any more. Well, I believe in living in the then as well as in the now.

    The poem (Very nice!), your commentary, and the building add to the appeal of a trip from where I live, the Mississippi valley, to far away Wellington, which is only a dream for me– but such a pleasant dream.

    1. In somnis veritas? Enjoy the dream.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    A braver woman than I . I can just barely tolerate guests I know and love!

    1. Strangers are easier if the architecture works.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Ours certainly wouldn’t work.

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