In the red zone, the empty cone zone,
The fences say life was here
The power boxes too.
But where the houses once did stand,
Is nought but earthquake goo.
The kids that played, they’re all long gone.
The Mums and Dads gone too.
The trees aloof for all to pick
With hiding spots for two.
Quietness reigns for all to hear,
Sounds of past life – dead.
Dreams that brought the young and old,
Have plainly disappeared.
The road that held a thousand cars,
Is but a stony river bed.
The phone lines linking lovers and friends
A mess of broken ends.
Pipe offcasts, edging and bricks,
Project suddenly from the ground.
It makes no sense for what is now,
And questions what was then.
The footpaths of ten thousand shoes,
And twice of that of paws.
Now carry only weeds and junk,
Long gone the morning chores.
All dreamed of a thousand nights,
Ten thousand on the ground.
All was well but for that noon,
When rolling destruction did abound.
We fathom not what that noon held,
And long days of broken dreams.
As houses fell into disrepair,
Then cleared, removed, and gone.
It makes no sense, it makes no sense,
It makes no sense again.
The senselessness of all we see,
And feel and taste and not hear.
The life that blossomed on this ground,
Has moved, migrated on.
We hope the young and old that left,
New hopes and dreams have found.
I visited the Red Zone in Christchurch for the first time ever on March 2, 2019. I wrote the above at various places across the grasslands, usually kneeling on the ground trying to hold my iPad so I could write.