Wednesday, 12 February 2020


Odes are fun to play with as they are generally about something we love or are passionate about. So we sing its praises far and wide. What better subject to start us off than Baldwin Street, the world's steepest street, according to Dunedin at least. And then onto any subject dear to our hearts. These are perhaps irregular odes in that they do not follow any prescriptive formula though most rhyme. All however are praiseworthy contributions you will hopefully enjoy. 


O what delicious small divine,
worthy of the finest wine,
as the bread from oven comes;
crispy crust and squishy crumbs.
The pundits say that you should wait
24 hours from bake to plate.
But, ah, who is there can resist
a slice with melted butter kissed.
Hail to the breadmaker's craft;
if you don't like it you must be daft.

- Helen Ledger


Oh wondrous street, I look at thee
And think you are too steep for me.
How will I get to the top
Without having to stop, and stop?

The houses hang off the edge
I wonder if they make a pledge
To hang on tight, with all their might
Or do they simply slide off at night?

The tourists come by car and bus
To see why there is all this fuss
While those who live there are outspoken
As once again, a fence is broken.

Oh wondrous street
Oh steepest street
What will we do to solve the clash
Between locals and the tourist cash?

- Christine Philp


This wondrous vessel I see before me
Made to carry coffee or even tea
Or hot chocolate if you desire
Particularly if you're beginning to tire.

You can be coloured, or just plain white
To lift and carry, heavy or light
Two handles when young, one when older
Or maybe none if we get bolder.

Such a simple shape and yet so complex
The last thing we want is for it to flex
As we carry our drinks, usually hot
To that extra special spot.

But let us not restrict its use
It's size and shape can give us clues
Breakfast cereals are a fave
Or scrambled eggs in the microwave.

A simple vessel with so much potential
It can become a decorative jewel
Yet a plain white one will suffice
When using it to shake game dice.

- Christine Philp


Twisting, twirling, a column of steam
A distinctive odour pushes its way up my nose
You are the object from which I rise from my bedclothes
Dragging myself out of bed to taste and smell your rich aroma

I prefer you sustainably harvested and Fair Trade
But sometimes my wallet confines me to a cheaper brew
My favourite is a round rich full-bodied beverage from a cafe
A treat I can only afford monthly

I like those posh Moccona and Golden Roast Nestle
But can only afford one vice, alas not coffee
I love the cinnamon sprinkle in my latte
The delicate heart-shaped swirl on my coffee's froth

Tactile, with an odor, warm and visually appealing
It just about stimulates all the senses
Sitting on and incubating my cup of coffee
I wish I could make a cup last for ever.

- M.F.


Well I have at least once dragged my legs
up your sloping pavement

Also at least once, I have been driven
up your incline and lazily meandered my way down

Does the wind blow colder at the top?

Walking, hiking, limping
to the pinnacle of Baldwin Street

I can view from the top and see the world

a wonderful view
an awesome view
a steep view

No one can equal this
at least I think not

I'll be "high as a kite by then"
In the words of Elton John

It's been a long time - eh Baldwin Street
But still you remain in my memory

I push and pull myself along your sloping pavement
There is nothing in the world that beats your jaffa roll

The street coming to life with thousands of rolling jaffas
(not from Auckland)

Enjoying the dizzying heights at your pinnacle

I will always love you, but
probably won't walk you again

- M.F.

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