Friday, July 3, 2009


Tēnā koutou katoa – Greetings to you allLink to image of Lake Taupo
photo courtesy Jack Allan
Paul C's GPS theme for July is simple: "reflect upon a time when nature provided you with comfort, beauty, or inspiration."

In the centre of North Island, New Zealand, rests one of the world’s largest extinct volcanoes. About 26,500 years ago, the volcano erupted, ejecting over 1,170 cubic kilometres of material.

Over time, a series of smaller eruptions occurred, including the Hatepe eruption in the year 180. It was the most violent eruption of any volcano in recorded history. What remained after that cataclysm was a caldera that filled with water to become what we now know as Lake Taupo.

I visited Lake Taupo with my family in April 2004. We were privileged to stay at my wife’s aunt’s cottage on the northern shore of the lake, literally a stone’s throw from the waterside.

One afternoon, while returning from a walk along the lake shore,
I scribbled a dozen or so lines of verse. Here, after some minor tinkering, is the essence of what I wrote:


The land was green once more before the lake
Was deep, its contours filled too well to mark
A place by: layer upon layer of ash-cake.
No bird looped near the waves that scoured the dark
And sintered shore-line. Fire had signed its will
And held its peace. And but for some release
At vents and fumaroles, the land was still,
With Earth and Sky well set to take their ease.
A crystal lake in a crystalline setting;
A billion waves; a billion inheritors.
No way is it a seeing and forgetting;
Truly, it’s a beauty fit for royalty.
Its enriched and well privileged visitors
Stand in awe of Taupo, and bow in fealty!

video and photos courtesy Jack Allan

A Green Pen Society contribution

Ngā mihi nui – Best wishes


Paul C said...

This is a wonderful post, Ken, of an exotic and mystical place. It's hard to comprehend that an explosion of that size ever occurred leaving such an area of pristine beauty. Your video and reading are enchanting.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora e Paul!

Taupo is a mystical place. I sense this every time I visit the lake and surrounding districts.

The geothermal activity lends itself to the mysticism, of course. I usually take the opportunity for a long soak in one of the nearby hot pools. Taupo and Rotorua are towns famous for their hot pools.

Catchya later