Hotel Hapuka – Sonnet by Pat Trembeth – Grand Hotel Hapuka, Haast

Hotel Hapuka by Pat Trembeth
Hotel Hapuka.

Hotel Hapuka

By Pat Trembeth

Cobwebs drape the windows, dead sandflies fill the sills
There’s black rice lying everywhere, the air is damp and chill
We’ve been away for far too long on the far side of the hill
Attending to what man must do to feed the kids and pay the bills

But now we’re back to our west-coast bach in the toi-toi and the flax
Fifty metres from a rocky shore, a million miles from phone and fax
Out of earshot of, ” Fix it Dad ” and ” Dear, go pick up the kids”
The traffic noise and fumes and smog and the neighbours yapping dog,

The Grand Hotel Hapuka headquarters of our boys club
Where we sit around, tell lots of lies of our fondest fairest love
Out in the Tasman Ocean, cruising at ten knots
Hunting the Tuna and Kahawai, responsibilities forgot
Sitting around chewing the fat, lubricated with a Scots anti-freeze
Blue Cod sizzling in the frying pan along with the spuds and beans

When we leave we do the chores we’d never do at home
Beat the mats, sweep the floor, on the beds you could bounce a stone
The sink reflects our stubbled smiles, the cobwebs they’re all gone
Wood split and stacked and kindling too, jobs shared in our common bond
We shut the door, check it’s fast, wander to the truck
Slowly crunch down the shell driveway to the highway and north to Haast.