Writers' Trail ~ Nelson/Tasman
POEM EVOKES THE MOOD OF MAPUA ESTUARY
The waterfront park at Mapua includes a tiered concrete amphitheatre leading down to the water, with a series of linking paths, a boardwalk along the water’s edge and a viewing platform.
Sand-blasted into the back row of seating in the amphitheatre is the poem 'Quietude of the Inlet' by Tasman poet Cliff Fell.
Fell was the winner of a competition organised by Mapua Community Library. Entrants were invited to create a poem which evoked the estuary and its many moods, all within four lines of a specified length. Read more in this article from Nelson Mail of 19 September 2011.
The park’s development was part of Tasman District Council’s remediation of the former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company site, which was heavily polluted after years of pesticide manufacture.
Park designer and landscape architect Robin Simpson incorporated layers of meaning into the park: the relationship of Mapua people to their community and the landscape, while recognising its history. The poem is part of this concept. It reads:
To feel the breeze and lapping of a wave
In the springtime they will come,
Wandering out of the sun: the birds
The smell of salt (and vinegar), a pied
stilt picking at a shell: as I will wait and
watch for you: spoonbill and godwit,
heron on the foreshore, don’t be shy.
Turn me tides, into this again: the light
that leads to the sea.
Born in 1955, Cliff Fell has been teaching Creative Writing at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology since 2005. His poems have won many awards and he has published several collections. He lives on a small farm at Ngatimoti, in the Moutere Valley.
Fell read his poem on 2 October 2011 during the blessing of the Rabbit Island – Mapua Ferry, which is part of the Great Taste Cycle Trail.
Written by: Chrissie Ward
From Nelson take State Highway 6 through Richmond until you reach the roundabout to turn right on to State Highway 60, The Coastal Highway. After 15 minutes turn right on to the Ruby Coast Scenic Route (Mapua Drive). Turn right again on to Aranui Road and follow this to the end to reach Mapua Wharf.