Kristina Jensen


an irresistible urge to defy gravity
presents itself where water meets earth
low tide means high rise for these little guys
in their hard round black suits

spiral doors shut tight until
the salty sea inches up the river
the common cat’s eye slithers its way up
and above, wanting to be, it seems,
the highest of them all

on TV, I see people in Asia climb
a mountain of stairs into buildings that stack
children’s blocks against the night sky
it a fine thing to be living highest of them all
but what will happen when the tide comes in?

Process Notes: “‘low tide means high rise’ was inspired by two observations coming together at once: first, I saw these wee shellfish (called pupu in the Maori language) piling up on top of each other when the tide went out one day. Then later, on the same day, I saw a program that showed row upon row of very tall apartment buildings, in particular, one couple who were so happy to be able to live on the top floor. Climbing social ladders of sorts.”

Kristina Jensen is a ‘poet afloat’, freelance writer, musician and home school parent living a life of voluntary simplicity on a boat in New Zealand. She is an enthusiastic advocate of spending as much time in nature as possible. Her poems, articles, essays and stories have been published in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.


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