High Country Weather

Alone we are born
And die alone
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road
Ride easy, stranger
Surrender to the sky
Your heart of anger.

James K. Baxter
Jimmy Baxter (``John. K. Oxter'') is New Zealand's most famous poet. He was a man of great gifts and considerable charm, but he was far too prolific and was a hopeless critic of his own work. He was a cult figure to NZ radicals of my generation, as the rather Buddhist tone of this poem might indeed have led one to expect, but he was in fact a catholic convert and had the full set of tiresome habits that go with it.

Every New Zealander of a certain age has this poem by heart. I do, for one.

Thanks to Eliza Avery for spotting two typos

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