26 January 2010


Sorry. I bet regular visitors to this blog will have imagined that I had ceased harping on about Easter Island. Wrong. It's still in my thoughts a lot and I am currently reading "The Enigmas of Easter Island"(2003) by John Flenley and Paul Bahn. Fascinating new speculations rooted in available evidence.

When I was on the island, I began scribbling a journal which until today I hadn't looked at since I got back. After years of battering away at computer keyboards, I had almost forgotten the rather different and somehow more intimate process of handwriting at length. I filled a notebook hardbound with a Jacquard silk design that a science teacher in my old school had given me on the day I left. Thank you Barbara.

And another apology. Regular visitors may recall that occasionally I will break out into poetry. I have seen several psychoanalysts about this, even tried electric shock therapy but it's an urge I just can't control. I successfully suppress it for weeks and then it floats back to the surface like a rubber duck in a bubble bath. The trip to Easter Island - Te Pito te Henua (The Navel of the World) - inspired me to scribble several poems in my journal and here's one of them. I wrote it on the five hour LAN flight back to Chile:-

Hanga Roa

In Hanga Roa panting dogs
Pursue a bitch in season
By the supermercado
And Tavake's bar
As a moped whines past
Pursued by a silver-starlight four by four
Made in Japan

Once the moai makers
Walked here
Marveling at the dying of days
And these vast night skies
Pricked with uncountable
Platinum peepholes
To the other world

By fires of toromiro branches
They respun old stories
Of their island-world and
Of the endless sea and the enveloping sky
As the moai cast
Elongated moonlight shadows
Over their ancient ahu

Those dogs scurry off
Behind the Hotel Orongo
You can hear the Kare Kare dancers
From Tahiti
Their harmonies tangling
With the pack's expectant barking
As lights from the east
Predict another LAN arrival
From Chile faraway.

Mataveri airport

Hanga Roa - main settlement on Easter Island whose primary source of income is now tourism
moai - the familiar stone giants
toromiro - the island's native tree, now virtually extinct
ahu - the stone platform on which moai were erected
Hotel Orongo - named after the ceremonial "birdman" village to the south west of the island
LAN - Chile's national airline


  1. I enjoy it immensely when you "harp on" about Easter Island.

    I fervently hope your apologies are an indication of your wry, dry English humo(u)r and not heartfelt. I have never before encountered anyone who apologized for writing poetry.

    Keep on giving in to your urges is my advice.

  2. I'm envious of your ability to capture your thoughts so beautifully. This really is top class work in my opinion.

  3. Great pictures, & a place I hope to visit in the future. Nice one Pud !

  4. Are they replanting trees on the island?

    Every time I read things you write about this place, it brings more questions to mind. Thank you.

  5. Have you seen the episode of Rex the Runt where he goes to Easter Island? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAfG2wOKlRU.

  6. Almost Hughesian in parts- add a metaphysical element and it would be a masterpiece.

  7. Lovely - the irony in the contrast rings loud and true.
    Easy to relate to this here in NZ too of course.

    Like Robert I question the sincerity of your apology. More please. About travels anywhere, poetry about anything.

    RHYMES Keep on giving into my urges? That would not just include poetry but fortunately senior citizens in the state of Georgia need not fret.
    STEVE I know you are not the kind of guy to give out compliments like confetti so I very much appreciate your judgement.
    DAVID You could honeymoon there with your lady friend! Just an idea mate.
    JAN BLAWAT In ancient times there were many palm trees on the island and pollen deposits in the crater lakes prove that once the island was wooded. There are new trees there such as a successful eucalptus plantation but the pristine forest that greeted the first settlers is of course gone forever. I could cry.
    MICHAEL I will check out the YouTube clip before I go to bed.
    SIR BOOTH From a fellow Yorkshireman I take this comment as a huge compliment. Of course metaphysicality abounds on Easter Island.
    KATHERINE You are so right. There are many parallels with NZ but on a more observable scale. Thanks for your kind support.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits