When I close my eyes

I hear the crickety croak of creatures, the whir of the heat pump and the tick tick tick of the fish clock on the wall.

Birds own the tress to the front, sides and back of this house — I call home. The playful chase of the tūī decide when it’s time to rise, and when it is time to sleep. Ruru draw the curtains at dusk, haunting in their call.

Water runs beneath my feet via the Taiorahi Creek, which flows down and along, and carries on to meet the ocean. There are eels in the creek and ducks with chicks, and likely water rats rattling about. When I close my eyes I hear the scuttle.

Sometime between 4 and 5 am, a critter runs across the iron roof of the house, and into my dreams.

When it rains, the water rises in the creek and spills over the bank. The old part of the house wriggles in its clay boots, and groans.

In the morning, light pulls my eyelids open.

The tūī, bellbird, blackbird and thrush poke and prod at the day.

When I close my eyes my pulse is one with the hum. I am bird, I am water, I am tree. And I am scuttling rat, rustling in the drains, feeding and feasting.