Old Walls Will Fall


Pictured is an old volcanic rock wall in Auckland’s Cornwall Park.

Been there for decades, and will probably be there for many more.


But inevitably, left unattended, it will deteriorate and crumble, bit by bit.

Or some sudden event may breach or destroy it (Berlin Wall, anyone?).

And, sooner or later, the walls we build in our minds to protect ourselves from perceived threats have to go too.

They might keep us “safe”, but they prevent new thinking and better ways from getting in.

I’ve had a few old walls fall in recent times, and it is not the end of the world.

Just the opposite in fact…



The Monolith Looms

20181029_220516 (2)20190121_22390620181114_215452 (2)in onehunga
the monolith looms
on the hill
we all see
what is missing
as keenly
as what
is left behind
the slopes of cornwall park
rolling gentle and green
a central city country estate
shared by joggers and dog walkers
scaring sheep
avoiding bulls

– excerpt from ‘Octopus Auckland: 8 Suburbs’, poem by Karlo Mila

With these words my poet friend Karlo describes the pictured hill ,Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill as it is also known) and the surrounding Cornwall Park near the suburb of Onehunga ,Auckland. Photos are from my regular visits there.Seven other suburbs also get the treatment in her analogy of my hometown as a ‘feke'(Tongan for octopus).

Footnote ,and to clarify some of the stanza: The large pine tree that once graced the summit is gone, mortally wounded in a chainsaw attack of protest almost twenty years ago by a Maori activist. What remains is the striking obelisk in the centre frame. It was conceived in times gone by as a “memorial” to the indigenous Maori people, whom many European settlers then thought would gradually die out.

However,they, like the obelisk, are still here…