This morning we left home quite early and drove through remote farmland. The sky was beautiful and bright with stars. Then ahead of us we could see a low-lying, long black cloud – pitch black. We both commented on it and wondered what it was. Further along the road we entered extremely dense fog forcing Nigel to slow right down. We could barely see even those huge yellow road signs that warn about tight bends. Then we came to Raes Junction which is a major T-intersection. There’s nothing there except an old hotel building (privately owned and no longer a hotel) and a group of those sodium streetlights – the sort that used to glow bright yellow-orange when I was a kid but now glow an odd pinky-salmon colour. In the foggy light the intersection and streetlights looked most surreal! And there was a profound sense of silent solitude as we stopped to check the empty highway before making our turn.
As I chatted to Nigel about my fond memories of rural road intersections lit at night by sodium lights he pondered whether I might make a poem about it. Seemed a good idea so right there in the car in about 10 minutes I composed this little haiku and spoke it to him, and thought I’d share it with you 🙂
sodium lights glow
still, foggy, intersection
middle of nowhere
— haiku by Liz Cowburn
this haiku is about Raes Junction, West Otago on a foggy morning but also celebrates a particular rural highway intersection I remember from when I was a little kid. There was nothing at all at the intersection, just a very wide road with the turn-off that we’d take, and the whole scene floodlit by the glow of lots of yellow sodium streetlights. New Zealand.
haiku by Liz; Exploring Colour (2020)