The last two stanzas of “Poem Written in the Matukituki Valley” are some of the best stuff he ever wrote:
Sky’s purity; the altar cloth of snow
On deathly summits laid; or avalanche
That shakes the rough moraine with giant laughter;
Snowplume and whirlwind – what are these
But His flawed mirror who gave the mountain strength
And dwells in holy calm, undying freshness?
Therefore we turn, hiding our souls’ dullness
From that too blinding glass: turn to the gentle
Dark of our human daydream, child and wife,
Patience of stone and soil, the lawful city
Where man may live, and no wild trespass
Of what’s eternal shake his grave of time.
– James K Baxter –