Sad March Days: for Christchurch

This poem was written as I sat watching the Memorial to the earthquake in Christchurch  March 18th,2011. All but the last verse was written then. And again today we share the floodgates of grief. The penultimate verse here is for the victims of yesterdays massacre at the hands of a terrorist, and I have used the final verse of the first poem repeated.


National  Christchurch  Memorial 

February 22nd – March 18th, 2011

by Benita Kape


 The Floodgates of Grief


for every wind-shaken leaf

a floodgate of grief …

in Christchurch today

a Komatua in cloak speaks

to the people, and the Prince


 Prince William then speaks

beside him

a responder for hearing impaired

signs the words

Kia Kaha, Be Strong


beneath trees in a summer park

the crowd rises

speaking to their reflections




resting policeman

with a child in his arms

 sun in their eyes;

a politician speaks

of a rebuild of the city


‘call me loyal’

the singer

and his guitar:

above in the sky a floater



a choir boy

his young voice

blending with

Dame Malvina Major

in a requiem


the ‘task’ leader


the Twenty-First Psalm

and is



small hiccup

 in a smooth ceremony

then graciously

the flame

g     l      o      w     s


some still wait

for the missing;


of grim times

so much snatched away


hearing the words

of many faiths

the people of the city


 comforting prayers



Devastating massacre


on Prince Williams’ webpage

the condolence from

His Highness and Kate

a repeated message

Kia Kaha (be strong)


hearing the words

of many faiths

the people of the city

and the world

share comforting prayers






3 thoughts on “Sad March Days: for Christchurch

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