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Experiment 5

Launch to Kapiti

page 50 The tragic circumstances of David Patterson's death are too well known to need repetition. We publish the following poems with regret that the promise revealed in them must remain unfulfilled.

Launch to Kapiti.

Our launch rolls in the whale-backed
Easy rolling waves with the swimming
Ease of the unhunted whale in its
Rounded rise to the fronting rollers
And casual slide in the slopped troughs
Of the slumping shambling waves.

As we skirt the slip-scarred cliffed
Coast of grey rock and khaki grass
And fine scrub-fuzz dimly scabbing an
Untame stare of land seaward-facing;

Peace like a swimming gull rides on the backs
Of unhostile seas and floats
Round the easy slow-rising longsliding launch,
And ease is in our hearts, unquiet left
Behind on the tumbling itching land.

A small matter this, and yet the world
Is changed because for the sake of
Spending a few days free on an island
We skirted once the dry daydreaming coast
In a whalerolling launch on the easy
Soulcaressing sea.