(from Erubus Voices)
I am here beside my brother, Terror.
I am the place of human error.
I am beauty and cloud, and I am sorrow;
I am tears which you will weep tomorrow.
I am the sky and the exhausting gale.
I am the place of ice. I am the debris trail.
And I am still a hand, a fingertip, a ring,
I am what there is no forgetting.
I am the one with truly broken heart.
I watched them fall, and freeze, and break apart.
In my lifetime New Zealand has had three collective transport calamities, the Tangiwai rail disaster, the Wahine sinking and the Erebus crash. Bill Manhire is one of our poets fortunate enough to have visited Antarctica. His poem about the Air New Zealand plane crash into Mt Erebus magnificently and starkly catches the horror and the awe of an event that shocked the nation. The use of rhyme is particularly effective.