Being a human—a poem

Sunburst over poroporo plant flowering on Mt Victoria, Wellington
Sunburst over poroporo flowering on Mt Victoria, Wellington

Being a human and therefore
a lumpy flat-edged stomping thing
I am drawn to fuzzy
fluttering things.

When I go crunching
overhill on hefty feet
tenderly their finery
tickles my periphery

ever the feathery dogs
and shivery seeds
and dizzying ferns
and sun-fluff whispering.

— Rachel McAlpine 2021

(Yes, I know. Being a human does not exclude the possibility of being subtle or sensitive. But hey…)

Dandelion seed head in sunshine
Toe Toe—feathery seed-heads blowing in the wind
Toe toe—feathery seed-heads blowing in the wind
Mamaku: NZ tree fern with strong fronds
Mamaku: New Zealand tree fern with strong fronds


By the way, I’d love you to give me a hand with my work this year. I want to publish an e-book based on the blog of an extraordinary 98-year-old, for instance. And write some songs. And get myself to readings out of town, sharing my poems about being old. The tiniest donation gives me courage as well as practical help. Thank You!

9 thoughts on “Being a human—a poem

  1. Ruth says:

    I love the second stanza with finery and periphery

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks for telling me—I’ll try not to change it then 🙂

  2. Cathy Cade says:

    That sounds so summery to us shivering in solitude on the far side. The only thing fuzzy or feathery is the frost. 🙁

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh oh oh. Its so easy to forget that we are the odd ones out here in new Zealand. Does this post torture you?

  3. Effective use of contrast here, Rachel, the joy of things being various …

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      They are indeed, thank goodness.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I think I might start sneezing!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Powerful pollen in those photos!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        And great alliteration in your response.

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