A New Zealand Rainbow and Sammy

Two more poems from Torridon Writers. Malcolm’s was inspired by a recent journey to New Zealand. Joyce’s poem, Sammy, is about a tortoise who was owned by her close friend and fellow member of the writing group, Joy Caley. Sadly, Joy died in May this year. But, as the poem explains, Sammy has found a new home.


A New Zealand Rainbow

 There I stood in driving rain

With my umbrella up again.

Then all of a sudden it did stop,

Not a single drip did drop.


There astride on the shingle shore

Stood an arch, like an open door.

Shone bright colours of blues to gold:

What pleasure to behold.


There it stood just yards away,

All I could hear is what the Irish say:

“Get a shovel and dig you must,

To gain that well earned daily crust.”


If you are quick, as said of old,

A well-deserved big pot of gold.

Before a shovel I could find

It had moved just off the shore line.


On the lake it now stood

Arching like a glowing hood.

If I could swim and deeply dive,

But my big fear is would I survive?


As it withdrew much further away

It seemed to brighten everyone’s day.

When it landed on the distant shore

It started to fade, then was seen no more.

 Malcolm Goodwin




 Sammy the tortoise lives in Joy’s garden:

He is intimate with each flower, fern,

Bush and blade of grass. It is his jungle.

Sammy must be fifty years or more and

Spends his time striding up and down the lawn

Eating the buttercups and daisies.

In autumn he is tucked away in a box

Filled with straw which goes into the shed

Until the arrival of warm weather.

Last year he disappeared, so when the time

Came for his winter sleep he was nowhere

To be found. Such anguish!

Could he have been stolen or had he dug

Himself a warm home for the winter?

This was the first year he had slept out.

One couldn’t help but feel worried since this

Winter was especially cold, frosty and icy.

Joy said Sammy would not appear before

Easter and, sure enough, on Good Friday

He came marching down the lawn; it was such

A relief and a joyous moment. Viv popped

Him into a bowl with a covering of grass

And took him to visit Joy. She was delighted!

Soon Sammy will be going to another garden.

I wonder how he will feel about that.

No doubt he will soon make it his jungle.

 Joyce Robson


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