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Mythology of Place - Homage to James K Baxter - © 1993-94 - Lloyd Godman - Lawrence Jones - Mythology of Place - Book now available

Photographs of the Brighton Coastal Otago World of James K Baxter

Macrocapa Tree on Bedford Parade, Brighton

Resonance XXVI - The Macrocapa Tree on Bedford Parade, Brighton -2000

Six selenium toned silver gelatine prints - Lloyd Godman - image is mapped click on image detail to enlarge - Full size image


Resonance XIV

It was in June 2000 when I was compiling the CD and searching for links between the text and the images that I realized that the image  of the Macrocarpa tree kept reoccurring in the text. The trees are on Bedford Parade and just up from the Baxter house; one had been cut down and only the large stump remained. Although these images appear dark the original photographs are rich in detail, Big Rock is visible and the Otago Peninsular coastline stretches like a distant arm into the  ocean. When I took the image there were hundreds of  pine nuts (Baxter remember floating down the river scattered on the ground, and while there was no sign of a cigarette buts, there was an empty beer bottle. 

The idea behind the image was not to make a photograph of the tree but a child's like view from the tree, a door from the protection of the tree to the world outside.


Map of Brighton indicating where the image Resonance XXVI was taken from

enlarge map



James K Baxter - Poem references

'Prediction', unpublished poem, no. 554, Ms 704/9

"the macrocarpa tree, the child's look-out"

'Poetry and Education', unpublished talk given at the Winter School of the English Association, August 1963 (Ms 75/163, Hocken Library), p. 3.

the first cigarette tasted in the top branches of the macrocarpa tree



The Tree 1962

A tree of vulvas oozing golden resin
Where I and my wire-muscled cousin
Climbed endlessly. Its bird-shit -splattered branches
Invoked the gross maternal mystery that fed his life and mine.


Smoking my father's tobacco in a sly
Tree house, or edging up a shaking mast
to a cradle open to the sky
riding those giant fronded arms,