Ella Duncan

Ella Duncan

Ella Duncan


Intensely passionate, and grumpy.

From a beautiful whanau.

For her mother Lynda, sister Kia Maia, and grandmother Margy.

Who loves and appreciates human rights, equality, and artmaking.

Who fears hatred from the people she loves, apathy from those she doesn’t, and becoming a monster without realising it.

Who is GREAT, although that fact can be debated.

Who wants to experience and leave the world a bit better.

Born in Nelson, living in Christchurch.


For Pubudu, For Tusiata, For Kim, For Maia, For all those not said,
you are a part of my heart.

Ruth Barnard

Ruth Barnard

Ruth Barnard

I am a student of Victoria University in Wellington majoring in Media Studies and Design. In my spare time I sketch, write and run. I love to travel and to meet new people as I find other people’s cultures and views highly interesting.
I have always loved to write and find that my studies of contemporary issues inspire much of my creative writing. I am a writer for the New Zealand youth magazine; Tearaway and aim to write for various publications in the future that help to provoke thought about important social and environmental topics.

An occasional boat

An occasional boat
by Siobhan Harvey

Aotearoa’s first waka were clouds
wearing, like precipitation, our future
gene-pools in their bellies. They began life
in Hawaiki, Portsmouth, Apia and Hong Kong.

Even now, in settlement, our people turn to their ancestors,
the clouds for connection, understanding and loss.
And the clouds oblige with reassuring rain, silvereyes,
stargazers, dragons, trains and even an occasional boat.

grace notes

grace notes
by Stepahanie Christie

Sometimes, the past unsettles itself, shakes
and lies down again in a new position.
Your story can start to come unstuck
and the work left undone turns into bad men
that you run from or become, or both.

The redemption does seem to keep standing off
a similar distance away. It’s like chasing rainbows
but not as clearly ridiculous.

We gain technical skills in fixing first world
problems which are still enough to sink you
into the ocean of invalids and the bitterest heart.

The institution is inside our throats.
Its spirochetes drill in till body and mind
oblige. We oblige. We are obligated.
Duty’s a dead word. Now we have responsibility.
Now we have key stakeholders. Now we have our heavy dreams.

Do not follow any instructions.
Hold me back in the shade where there is light.
Negativity inflects our speech with a kind of glory,
what we’re surviving, smart as children at getting out
of power’s way. We hate what we can’t have.

Often, in classic dress, we try to rise.
We make sense out of stones and sort recycling
and achieve and assess and are competent
within a time window, and on a strict budget.
The language wraps round the chest like a bandage.

When you touch the screen and something happens
this is why you asked to be born right here and now.
The storms will be fantastic, like you can’t imagine.
You may be married and divorced as often as you like
in a strict logical order with a binary switch design.
There are lots of ways in if that’s where you’re going.

Self-reflection leads to self-consciousness.
Loss soaks into the dirt, already wet with winter.
Worms move slowly in the cold clod.
Our moon shrieks at the window
which shuts tight now we’re grown up
and can pay good rent.

I sharpen the knife like you showed me.
Whatever you make of this, make it straight
and a double. Intense moderation
makes sense, a sort of hypnotism.
Our precious business is to stand
each day as it comes.

New Wave

New Wave
by Stepahanie Christie

It was an act of defiance
I laboured under.
The animal body examined itself.
From under the rags of self-loathing
I found out the holy itch
and struck out after it

I got a baby blowing inside me
stretching a hole into my skin
for her animal to fit.
This had a physical effect
as the brain dried out in my head –

all the gifts my culture gave me
reason, ego, spirit, will
cut up like a side of beef
now the flesh grows back between.

I asked a hundred mothers
and they all told me this same thing :
mind shrinking back under skull’s grin
will never rule again.


by Stepahanie Christie

That high noise you heard
was coming from your mouth.
Get the kids within reach.

All the people having drunken first-time sex.
All the people who texted their mothers immediately.
All the people who had earlier spent
their last few dollars on cigarettes.

When the shaking stopped
you fell through your gate to join
so many unfamiliar bodies
wrapped in duvets walk like zombies
in the dark down a cracked street.

All those who’d been considering suicide.
All the bedrooms that had just been painted pink.
All the stories could only hope to get
a tiny bit of the full effect.
Words fail us.

I called you straight away.
I thought then if I lost you my heart would break.
Three seasons on we scarcely speak.

All the people waiting for a sign got something.

It was never any work.
Ours was friendship at first sight.
We set up camp and laughed into the night
and let the future worry about itself.

All the people whose cats ran off.
All those who’d gotten around to mowing the lawn.
All the relationships that ended.
All of the neighbours who finally met.


by Sigred Yamit

I walk home everyday
my watch ticking to the rhythm of my pulse
they say I walk so slowly
I shrug and blame my tiny feet
it has become a habit of mine though
to stop and stare at the sky
I never knew it could
be this blue
never knew such clouds existed
long and so vivid
the purest white adorning
the regal blue
I trail their movements as
they glide leisurely in the horizon
playfully covering up the sun
teasing me as they form into
something familiar
I love this game
I blow through my mouth
practicing how to whistle
….(my friends say I’m hopeless yet I whistle nonetheless) I look down at my tattered shoes and
stare back at the sky
the clouds travel so lazily
I match my steps with their pace
I whistle as I count the shapes they’re forming
for a moment forgetting the cold metal on my wrist.

When the Creation Learns How to Feel

When the Creation Learns How to Feel
by Sigred Yamit

what am I going to do?
write another ballad
….for you? about you?
it’s always been about you, isn’t it?
the way the edges of your
lips reach the clouds of Zeus
or the way you bend down
as if waltzing with a v microscope
..to merely
record your findings
I have no idea if you actually
take time to analyze them
dear scientist, when will you
fix me? let alone just talk
to me? if you have no actual
plans then cut off
this red string, better yet
cut off our bastard pinkies
they hold no promise
it’s funny though, I swore I
heard you promising when
….your breath first reached my ears.

Matariki Poem

Matariki Poem
by Shreya Nair

as evening approaches
the sun radiates a dim light
blurred in ablaze, settling down
behind the horizon, exhausting the
world of warmth.

the wind blows in harsh spite
the air is damp and cold
but a bonfire sits, crackling
with essence, shedding
billows of warmth.

moaning slightly,
the children head off to bed
eager for sunrise to arrive.

holding kai and offerings
in hand, family and friends
circle the fire, chanting hymns
to welcome back Matariki.

The season of its first rising.

Their soothing voices reverberating
in the darkness, accompanying
the crooning waves.

Scintillating in the winter sky
Matariki appears, the eyes of god
marking the dawn of Maori New Year.

Iwi gather in unity and
remembrance of loved ones.
Singing in unison and rejoice.


by Sarah

Life is memory
an implanted scene
movable liaisons
within a dream

this way, that way
creating a path
a life long journey
For as long as it lasts

an array of objects
classified and named
looking for reasons
to make its claim

that life has meaning
that must be solved
looking for the answers
in the story told

Life is memory
held in place
creating a story
to go with the face

a me , an I
a them , an us
portrayed images
gathering dust

who am I ?
well let me see
a reference check
oh there I be

a this , a that
a position to uphold
a girl in a dress
a man strong and bold

to know oneself
as a memory
is to live a life
that is the dream

collective consciousness
gathering speed
a hungry mind
taking its lead

memories , memories
a story told
an able body
a perfect mold

playing it nice
with hopes to fit in
collecting ‘others’
that we may call kin

for surely its safe
when we all agree
to the same story
of make believe

Oh darling darlings
its time to awake
from the dream
for sanity’s sake

oh my goodness
the pure open joy
of forgetting the rules
and made up ploys

the absolute pleasure
to observe the dream
for life is never
what it quite seems


by Rosanna Raymond

At night I sleep with mountains
covered with birds on sticks
and a bird beak peaking down below
And me turns to we and we flock off in our effect
as the clouds form an embryo across the sun
It’s all part of a coconut order
Celestial petals are waiting for some drum drum fun
centipedes, jellyfish dancing on their thighs
and the blood of virgins smeared on their cheeks
We dance on the skin of the land
flushed in a red stained light, the same light
shed by Hines’ vulva as it out an end
to mans’ quest for everlasting life
My bones are cold, almost hollow
they carry and echo, but my flesh is tasty
and keeps me on the go…going….gone
But not for good
For I am afraid the sky will down
and leave me at the feet of Ranginui
looking for assistance
Karanga mai, karanga mai, karanga mai ra
listening to the hidden voices,
bathed in salt water
welcoming me, settling my distance
and waiting for me to come home

An open letter to Mr Peter Brown of New Zealand First

An open letter to Mr Peter Brown of New Zealand First
by Renee Liang

Dear Mr. P. Brown,
I agree absolutely the matter of Asian immigration
Demands serious attention. After all, Mr P Brown, the true definition
Of a true blue Kiwi, like yourself, is, firstly,
A love of the All Blacks. Not in the literal sense
Unless you’re down the Loaded Hog on Friday night,
But I mean, really love the All Blacks, who were robbed
Of their right to the World Cup.
Secondly Mr P Brown, I know you can sing
The national anthem in both English and Maori
After all, true blue Kiwis like yourself, Mr P Brown,
Can. Maori is, of course –
the language of those poor bottom dwelling bastards
soon to be displaced by ‘mini societies of Asians’.
And we all know the Asians rob people.
It was probably them that robbed the All Blacks.
And now they’ll rob
Those poor brown people of their rightful place to be
At the bottom of New Zealand society.
I feel your pain, I really do, Mr P Brown. I feel it here.
Better, far better, to have a flood of brown people here
than yellow.
With a name like Mr Brown, Mr P Brown, who can blame you
For being a defender of the poor oppressed in our society.
Like Winston Peters, who’s never played the race card, ever.
He’s brown. And you work with other brown people too.
They clean your office toilet, flush your shit down the loo.
An Asian cleaning your loo just wouldn’t be patriotic, would it,
Mr P Brown?
There’s no telling what the Asians would do if they became
Substantial. The greater the number,
The greater the risk.
Sell substandard goods from China?
Our Prime Minister’s only a woman,
She couldn’t tell the difference.
Real quality is Kiwi-made. Macpac packs, Pumpkin Patch.
Those Asians will never integrate.
All they’re interested in are the A’s and
Sending their kids to our best schools.
Their kids won’t ever be Kiwis.
Having them here would only cause
Division, resentment and friction. And not the kind
Of friction you get, Mr P Brown,
By putting your hands down your pants.
Oh and – you can always tell an Asian by the way they look.
They’re yellow, you see. Squinty eyes, and
always in the library. None of them can drive.
And none of them speak
English properly. That brings me to my third point –
All true blue kiwis speak English, don’t they,
Mr P Brown? Even the brown people.
They signed the Treaty in English, after all.
And my last point, the most important. A true blue
Kiwi is born here, Mr P Brown, right here on this soil,
Part of the whenua, they say. So people
Not from this land have no chance
Of integrating into our just, free, and above all,
Tolerant society. No chance at all, Mr P Brown.
I mean, we wouldn’t want a mini-London
On our hands, would we, Mr Brown?
You’re right.
There’s no telling what they’d do,
These immigrants. They should never have been allowed in.
There’s no telling what they’ll say next.

Animal Road

Animal Road
by Raewyn Alexander

ridges and ruts a frozen orange sea
generations of tracks through mud
empty now except for stampede echoes imagined
breath noise and loneliness
beside the bare earth a body
skin over bone stretched with absence
fallen calf for the ants
insect population various this fringe
their tiny dance
thinking of their numbers my hide shivers
gasps when I run this rough way
toward the open lake and field
water smooth as an eye
grass soft like baby’s hair
forgetting what to wish for
the wind sings a new language
I lost you along this hard clay
soft make-believe in the sun
cowboy movie scenery amplifies
grief as if it’s colours


by Raewyn Alexander

in a crowd and almost followed some other me disappears no one nearby understands your half-turn towards a what-if it really is her? pale hair or way of walking would you shout a word only we know? choice phrases bounce through space zig zag and zip before now we’d find ESP

I’d hear your accent in traffic noise
but nothing does suit us
no one has to meet
that nowhere river we’re in
spilling downhill to blue ocean
could sing the song
mermaids do

hey Delilah, what’s happening in New York City?

hey Delilah, what’s happening in New York City?
by Raewyn Alexander

social media from Bettendorf.
‘wish I knew,
been thinking about those staggered streets
neon plunges,
my head rocked
watching yellow taxi cabs roll;
thoughts steamed in MOMA’s pressure colour.
instead I’m holed up
where the earth’s edge teeters
between rain storms and earthquakes,
raw flood days
editing wishes into fiction
shaping characters from starlight.
living half my life in songs.’
didn’t mention the homeless
waving a sock all day,
crouched by his piece of iron fence
Lower East Side hunker of blacks;
or the young Irish escapee from pole-danceland
his laugh close to wounded,
the religious girl who sold their sex life to magazines.
saved silences for home;
air rushes through the open window.
found your sharp hints cut the paper
into a snowflake,
how cool our pretty ideas.
the spin of holiday kisses,
this wish drift of tapping a seance.


by Qalina

You wear the color of my grief,
You sing what I dare not say.
You take me where I cannot fly
To my home far, far away.

You are so close I can touch your song,
But you’ll never eat from my hand.
If it weren’t for you, it’d feel so wrong
To be in this faraway land.

When I feel cold they’re laughing,
Saying my accent is to blame.
If it weren’t for you I’d go insane
In winters of pouring rain.

A beauty of monochrome
With a spot of hope where your song is born,
You bring color back in my life
And now I am free to fly
To new beginnings
Through borders and grief,
With your song nesting inside me.

I Have Sailed This Body

I Have Sailed This Body
by Qalina

I have sailed this body
To a foreign land
Where I knew nobody
And could understand
Neither their language
Nor their ways.
Some gave me shelter,
Some stormed me away.

Been chased by pirates
Wanting to steal my jewels.
Little did they know
I had none to lose.
Little did they know –
Plenty did I learn,
Sailing in my body
Through regrets and storms.

The breeze has sung temptations
In my eyes and ears.
My sails were ripped
By the salty tears;
I have looked for sunshine
Around crowded ports;
Anchored was in many,
But few were let aboard.

I will know humbly
It has come my time
When my body crumbles
To the ocean wild.
I will leave my boat,
I will leave my pride;
Over the waves
As gannet will I fly.

Handfuls of Sunshine

Handfuls of Sunshine
by Qalina

My passport is stamped with new possibilities,
I am free to go or stay.
From now on, if I don’t reach my dreams,
There are no fences to blame.

I am free to laugh and drink out of the tap;
I am free to swim and dance.
How could there be so many roads open
Without paying a ransom?

Coming from cold that is painful to breathe,
I feel so old underneath;
Drinking sunshine by handfuls –
I’m yet to get used to this.

The Stars

The Stars
by Nicole Potter

As the seven stars appear,
We will let our own star shine bright

We forgive and forget
to heaven and earth

To start fresh in a new year,
We celebrate with kindness and

For those who drop tears a rainbow
will appear
For those who tell us a hundred reasons
why to cry
We show them a thousand reasons
to laugh and smile

under the seven stars of

When I die

When I die
by Monica Rose Yeoman

When I die
Carry me home

If I have no home
Take me to my mother’s

Walk me through the streets
Down the highways and byways and roads that I have loved

Up the hill behind our house
On fire in the month of May

Take me up the West Coast
Stopping in for sunset at the Karamea pub

Soak me in your tears as you go
Let our culture not contain this; your grief

When I die
Carry me home

Dress me in my favourite clothes
My togs if January has its way or a red dress in April

Lay me on the couch
And stroke my hair

Then pour yourselves some port
And for the rest of the week, just talk

Invite the neighbours in for a dinner party
Gather your old friends and new

Extend the welcome to your boss
Get him talking too

When I die
Carry me home

And speak to me of all that is beautiful
Cyclical, rare and Mundane

Celebrate my shining successes and recall the outrageous fiascos
Touch on our collective pain

Let me watch you making food in the kitchen
Pavalova with kiwi fruit on top and Grandma’s mince

Dad’s baked apples and rhubarb from the garden
Salad greens with caterpillars hiding
And banana beef curry

Tell me how you did that?
Please talk to me, talk to me, talk to me

When I die
Carry me home

Play tunes on my guitar
And dance madly around the living room to Eric Clapton’s Leila

Let the kids stay up past their bedtime
And climb all over me

Using my knees as hills for their diggers
Don’t make them hold back

Let them grab greedy handfuls of me
And fall asleep in my lap

When you know it’s time. And you’re ready
Turn my body into ash and seal me in jar beside the window or the bed

From there I will smile upon new memories being made
As our old conversations give rise to the new

I’ll watch the passing of seasons
And that light creeping in

As you raise your glass to the days that have been
And toast all that is yet to begin.


by Michael Botur

I’m imported from an Old World of atavists
and anti-hijab jabs from enlightened Presidents;
continent of all-conquering currency.
My plane disclaims its Eurocargo on lava tarmac.
We’re ethnic scraps scraped off the plate. Wide-eyed,
I salivate at this space, this colonialist’s bait,

I drool like Conrad
when he saw the necklace-lain Congo jewel.
Each Mangere mangrove here should move
aside so I can stake my Tricoleur, because I’m
insecure. I even heard the settlers changed
their name to Pakeha

from European: such insurgency! A slap, a speed
hump, yup, but it can’t stump the rules of retrospect
which state that history, if sealed, congeals, and cannot
be contested or repealed. So, I lug my luggage with me
In case I must declare identity.

The hotel shuttle is a quarantine. Each passed pub’s
a Celtic, Welsh embassy, but
I’m excluded from the hubris,
I’m just noxious: I’m ambassador
for Ferdinand, Wilhelm, Windsor, Louis.

Decamping here, establishing my principality
I seed elms, firs, chestnut trees.
And hug each oak, so damp and England-old;
I clutch a pocketful of francs.
I long for the Louvre, thirst for the Danube.

But, needing residency, I put my Heineken aside and drink
a Steiny, let my tongue absorb the way you talk: an accent of
parrots, cheese, beaches, wheat, and frosted skis,
And islets, quad bikes, estuaries;
ANZACs, Allies swathed in Swanndri,

Baled hay, udders stuffed with curds and whey
Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay, manuka tea. I swallow
spiteful eyefuls of the Sky Tower, a phallic affair,
a contest which can’t compare
with my established Eiffel.

I obfuscate my origin and carry just the core
of it. My flag, my baggage can be boxed,
unlocked upon May Day,
Queen’s Birthday, Bastille Day,
exhumed when we zoom in on the future,

when at parties, they’ll interrogate me: Mate, ya Kiwi?
And my mouth’ll empty –
No rugby fealty or passport can speak for me.
I’ll search my carried baggage, check the mirror.
Then we’ll see

Croatia, Polynesia, Asia
are connected by a common sea
uninterrupted by nationality. Europe was a squeeze
so this refugee begs residency, because you need
My trendy, exotic biscotti and without you,
I wouldn’t have a space to breathe.

Stories Untold

Stories Untold
by Megan Figgest

An empty suitcase lies open on deck
With the smell of Earth heavy in the air

Women toil
They fold stained linen sheets and scrub scratched wooden floors
Removing the mud
Moving in their restless human way

The waves shape their journey
Weaving the past together with the future

New Zealand; a foreign word
Sits like thick dirt on their tongues

And the thought scratches the surface of their minds
Will the grass be greener beyond the blue sea?

They are just nameless numbers
Searching for themselves
On a ship bound for the unknown, promising nothing
Left with an empty suitcase to be filled

Woven Together

Woven Together
by Mary Bell Thornton

A kilted Jacobite warrior at Culloden cried
druim nan deur druim nan deur
The battle cry ringing across the marsh
painted tartan on The Ridge Of Tears

Cleared from The Highlands
kith and kin crossed the seas
to Auld Reekie of the south
gaps of death perforated their ranks
wives and bairns buried
under Dingwallian stones

um spiro spero our motto
while I breath I hope

Nau mai haerei mai

Out of a dour Presbyterian clan
came Hillside artisans who birthed
poets artists and minstrels

The Beating of the Retreat
in Edinburgh drew my tears
So too a pōwhiri in Whakatū

I have no claim to iwi or hapū
but still I’m rich in this land Aotearoa
with genes Scottish and English
garnished with kaupapa Māori

The Gaelic toast Slàinte Mhath (Slan jah va)
bids you good health

Tēnā tātou katoa

Three Firsts

Three Firsts
by Maris O’Rourke


He takes the baby out. Alone on the back seat for the first time his son begins to cry. Thrusts his legs out straight and throws his arms wide – like a panic-stricken starfish. A scarlet flush rises with his screams. White knuckles lock onto the steering wheel. It seems further than one kilometre. He would kill for a cigarette. It’s been six weeks since he quit. Finally he stops, kneels, leans into the anxious silence as their eyes meet.


He arrives with the baby. Alone in the garden she is planning the first section of a walk – Te Araroa: The Long Trail – 3,000 kilometres from Cape Reinga to Bluff. She kneels, gathers up her grandson, folds him in a familiar fit. She sways and sings to him – just as she had with his father. His eyes sink to slits that widen in warning if she stops, or shifts, their shared rhythm. Finally, with a long sigh, he flops like a boneless jellyfish. Sleeps.


He takes the baby out. Alone, for the first time since their son’s birth six weeks before, she stands in the silence. Meanders to the garden. Meditates on the basil. Kneels into it. Inhales it. Crushes it. Chews it. Gathers it all. The sun slants onto the bench as she mixes the pesto’s ingredients: fresh basil leaves, grated Romano cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, pine-nuts, garlic cloves and seasoning. As her milk comes in smells rise with her anxiety.

Plastic Kiwi

Plastic Kiwi
by Lillia K Jacques

Jewels of every hue glow.
Rays softly filtering through the Long White Cloud
reveal their richness, refracted.

Indigenous / imported. Immaterial.
Multi-faceted brilliance;
Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic gems
Solidified, fortified by the unique composition of native terrain,
Adorn the crown of Aotearoa.

Chips off the old block
Respect their royal lineage,
A shining example of the past enriching the present.

Admiring her diadem
Our Pacific Princess looks with pity
Upon the ‘plastic Kiwi’ included,
but lacking the fire and colour of surrounding stone.

Whether too blasé or ashamed to acknowledge the
Bittersweet taste of the soil from whence they were first fathomed
The plastic Kiwi’s ancestral ambivalence has robbed them of resplendence;
Unheated carbon lacks history, and therefore value.
A mirror without silvering is merely a pane of glass.

The master jeweller expects that all gems have flaws.
But without reflecting extensive experience
Imparted via cultural compaction
We resemble only the plastic present.

Of course, loving Aotearoa accepts us as her own.
But without the continuing contribution of our own
cultural clarity
Are we complex enough to be counted among her treasures?

Waiting For The World

Waiting For The World
by Katie Haggath

Some sunshiney sunday
While you’re head-bopping back past the pane,
Eclectic electric-
-black skullcandy phones
clamped like clams to your lobes
A head-hunter walking by,
and by coincidence, in your flowerbed,
He’ll exclaim; burst from your beds delighted.
He’s just found the ear-model he’s dreamed to mould
into the perfect pull-out centrefold
of ‘Phones Magazine.

One rain-soaked tuesday,
while you alternate ‘tween whatever teenie-bop chick flick
is making rounds on T.V.
and whichever game you’ve beaten least
on Xbox, PS, Nintendo Wii
Mister Right will crash through the living room wall,
wrangling a stallion or a Harley Davidson Bike,
depending on preference,
(which of course he’ll know)
Sweep you off the sofa,
and ride off into the unknown.

One frosty friday morning,
sometime in the wee hours when it’s still black,
the street’ll leap alive to serenade you,
muscle-bound men will bear you,
out of bed to a private jet;
fly you to foreign exotic countries,
filled with sun, sand and many martinis,
It’s your turn today,
to be lucky enough to go away.

The Colonial

The Colonial
by Julie Prince

A black waistcoat, clean white shirt
And strong boots – we must go, my love
Down to the ship, the cold sea
Where sails unfurl, a berth awaits
And others join our journey.
There – words spoken, dreams roused
And promises made
Unto a land green and young
Where houses are few, the people are one
And the trees grow tall.

A black mackintosh, brown felt hat
And a taiaha – we must go, my friend
Down to the field, the soil ploughed
Where bush is cleared, fences march
And others watch
There – promises broken, land taken
And life given
In this land green and young
Where houses are many, the peoples are one
And the trees grow tall.

Endless Beginnings

Endless Beginnings
by Josie Farrar

Deep in a bundle of sensations
A spark of consciousness
Becomes aware of warmth. Security
In the distance, a muted voice
Begins a conversation
That will continue through life

A sharp first breath
Jarring brightness.
Overwhelming sound
Comforting arms restore warmth. Security
Tiny lips move gently
Forming sounds of their own
As they join a conversation
That will continue through life

A new bag and lunch box; new clothes; new shoes
Small hands grip tight
Bigger hands pull, gently, away
New faces offer comfort. Security
Others offer something new: friendship
Small lips struggle to repeat printed words
Each voice, heard and read, enriches a conversation
That will continue through life

New ideas and emotions
So much to learn
Text books replace stories
Friendships fade, rekindle, change
Some die. Others are born
Teenage lips taste a first kiss
Voices come and go, playing parts big and small
In a conversation that continues through life

A new job brings security
The freedom of income
The voice of the learner
Respected, listened to. at last
Soon, tiny fingers grip a single grown-up digit
Tiny lips blow a bubble
And so, as voices of bosses and colleagues swell the older conversation
That same conversation begins anew

A box of mementos. A gold watch. A cake
Security assured through years of hard work
The freedom of time
New voices give the orders, make the rules
More and more, old voices fade
Replaced by the chatter of youth
In a conversation that has continued through life

A last, lingering breath
Eyes close, to see
Light, in the darkness
Leading back
Into the unknown, where
A voice that is not a voice
A voice that was there all along
Continues a conversation that transcends life

Matariki over Manukau

Matariki over Manukau
by Ila Selwyn

look out the window
see a beautiful ice rink
stretched across the harbour

the far edge of the Manukau
is tufted with crisp white icing
bleaching to a soft mauve

the seven sisters are bending down
putting on their skates
starting to lace up their high white boots

rush to my cupboard
dig out my old worn pair
hug them to my chest

run out to join them
they’ve taken off without me
skimming across my illusion

now the seven sisters are racing
to get the biggest piece
of Matariki’s birthday cake

the ice queen lulls their senses
with anticipation of culinary delights
the sharp winter sky fuels their delirium

the ice queen’s madness
brought on by Matariki mayhem
erupts from the deep

tosses the seven sisters
and their seven pairs of skates
high into the sky

they shriek with joy
dive into the depths
shoot to the surface

become seven wild fillies
dancing, prancing
churning up my delusion

a rope for my third man

a rope for my third man
by Ila Selwyn

a rope
for my third man
yanks me home
step off the plane
Aotearoa grasps an ankle
my soul down under
we don’t speak the same language
upside down
back to front
I have to up-end myself to see
my grandfather moon
you can’t even see
the cherub in your hemisphere
dump Orion on his head reduce
him to a pot
I seek the sun
south at Tutukaka
drive north to the snows of Ruapehu
the logic is clear
you’re protected by a layer of tough wool
my northern skin is far too thin
emotion fuels my tank
I slam on the brake

I’d rather bear a fractured heart

I’d rather bear a fractured heart
by Hayley Ann Solomon

If I was bathed in happiness, perfect in its glow,
I’d see the plight of others—but wouldn’t stop to know.
And herein lies the puzzle,
herein lies the key-
Perfection is not perfect
if it uplifts only me.

How can I bathe in happiness,
Fears and fancies fled
when the blood of a child soldier
drenches deep and dark stained red?
How can I smile,
my heart so light and free,
when half a world away –
a generation’s taught to flee?
What is comfort,
as there are women whipped for thought?
What my pride and careless ease as slaves are sold and bought?

If stop I did,
my happiness, too,
would dim,
for empathy, both gift and curse,
Is so oft cold and grim.
Yet… if I were happy
and looked not,
saw not,
My heart could not be whole,
The trio of my spirit,
the solace of my soul;
All that would be lost to me,
Oh, high, so high a price –
I cannot yearn for happiness
If it’s comfort is a vice.

So, its not happiness I seek….
For while there is injustice,
while there is intolerance,
while there is cruelty –
my joy would just be bleak.

What do I hope for?
I hope for change, for outrage, and for caring.
I dare the world to pause with Valentines day,
playstations and all that fuss.

Stop a moment,
look at us –

Where is our perspective,
where our soul?
Can we be happy
if our hearts are not whole?
Can our hearts not be fractured once we’ve begun?

I think not, I hope not.
I’d rather bear a fractured heart
than oh, an empty one.

The reading quest

The reading quest
by Hayley Ann Solomon

There is no greater way to understand what we are and who we are to become than through reading. Reading opens the portals of our mind, accesses our collective unconscious and shapes us as a nation.

Well, boys and girls, take a look-
Kereru fell inside a book.
No-one could be more surprised
Than ‘Reru—
who was mesmerised!

At first the writing made no sense,
boldly black and dark and dense,
but as he stared, he felt much better—
each curvy angle made a letter!
Each letter linked to make a word,
each word a sentence, I have heard.
Now ‘Reru knows it’s rude to stare,
but some strange magic happened there.
The words all rhymed, when strung along,
to form a kapai reru song.
And the song went . . .

Kapai ‘Reru can’t you see,
you’re inside a dictionary?
All the words there’ll ever be,
belong in here the inventory!
So if you’re quick and take a peek,
my page will turn to what you seek.

But who is that? What’s the matter?
It’s Alice, dears, and old Mad Hatter.
Turn the pages, turn them do . . .
there’s Thing One and there’s Thing Two!
No, turn some more, I want to meet . . .
Cinderella down that street.
Tane Mahuta and Hawaiki . . .
Hine or Maui oh come … quickly
‘Reru ‘Reru don’t go far
That is Where the Wild Things Are!
Jump to pages seven and nine
to duel with kings in olden time.
Grab a helmet take a sword,
Merlin waits and you’re a lord.
Lord Kereru?
Now that’s real funny,
but not so strange as Pooh bear’s honey!
Sweet and sticky, gold and runny
it can’t fill up a small bear’s tummy.

‘Reru ‘Reru can’t you see
You’re inside a dictionary?
All the words there’ll ever be
belong in here the inventory.
But if you’re quick and take a peek,
my page will turn to what you seek.

Mrs Dis-com-bob- ulous
Margaret mahy’s one of us
Wave hello to Toad and Otter,
fly a broom to Harry Potter.
Tired of wizards? Take a turn,
There’re crazy things for you to learn.
And learning makes us grow and feel
Learning makes our world more real.

Maths in puzzlers to keep our minds busy. . .
tongue twisting testers to make our teeth dizzy.
There’s the girl who sells seashells on the seashore,
turn the page quickly in case we find more!
Peter Piper’s picking a peck of pickled peppers . . .
Hurry, hurry, we don’t like pepper –
turn the page to something better!

Back again to true, true tales
Of southern cross and northern gales,
how to bunji, how to draw,
‘Reru reads about them all.
Then . . . mind the dragon on one-one two,
he’s breathing fire
—he’s close to you.

Reru Reru can’t you see,
you’re inside a dictionary?
All the words there’ll ever be
belong in here the inventory.
But if you’re quick and take a peek,
my page will turn to what you seek.

Lowly worm,
and Where’s that Wally?
The Water Hole is down that alley.
Do I hear the jungle drums?
Boom, bom, boom, bom,
Reru feels it loud and strong.

stories are sad or frightening . . .
Christchurch quakes, or lost mums – lightening . . .
But keep reading reader,
Don’t you cease—
after storms there’s often peace.

And every word has its place,
every letter
and laced,
every story you will find,
stretches Kereru’s magic mind.

Come imagine,
come and read –
kiwi quests are quest

Land of the Long White Cloud

Land of the Long White Cloud
by Hayley Ann Solomon

Take a sprinkle of our sunshine
Take a whisper of our moonlight
breathe the sweetest of our fresh air
Fair dream land our delight
We are first dawn,
‘ neath star crossed skies

And it’s
in conscience and kindness
that our nationhood lies

Land of long white cloud
you have a glow
silver ferns are our heroes
crystal waters wakas row….

River rafting in the seasons
bunji jumping all good reason
we’re Kapai kiwis with our skis on
mountain snow or summer springs

And our fair free land, it’s home to me
New Zealand we love you.
Let it always be.

Take a little time from sea land
in the hilltops of New Zealand
breathing breath upon all free lands
spreading peace so far away

We are the dawn, ‘
‘neath star crossed skies
And it’s
in conscience and kindness
that our nationhood lies.
May our fair dream isles
rimmed round by sea…
Be kapai and kiwi
forever fair,
and ever free.


by gus Simonovic

If words are the stars,
poems are constellations.
You need to know the figure
to shape out meanings.
And wherever you move
every nightsky speaks
a different language.

I crossed the line –
and left my northern stars
at that invisible border.
They were confiscated
by the equatorial customs office.
But I smuggled my poems with me
so I can still speak to you.

I exchanged my Little Dipper
for Magellanic clouds.
Instead of Polaris
Sigma Octanis brightens my horizon.

And I reach up high and I dig down deep
like every plant that has been
pulled out by its roots.
Lucky to have Leo and Orion
to help me bear my Southern Cross.


by Gill Ward

We are not allowed
to talk about the weather
in our house.

In our house
we do not talk about
the weather

The weather
is all they talk about
in the north of England

In the north of England
talking about the weather
is all they do

All they do
is talk about the weather
because there is nothing

because there is nothing
much else to talk about.
in the north of England

in the north of England
the weather is what they discuss
that and sometimes illness

that and sometimes illness
and sometimes who’s died
and then the weather

and then the weather
and also the war
and the enormous part

the enormous part
and essentially important
part they played in it.

the part they played in it
and the ration books
and what the neighbours did

and what the neighbours did
but they don’t orphan
the major component

the major component,
the weather, because
the weather always needs

the weather always needs
a mother and a father
to talk about it

That Night

That Night
by Gill Ward

That night you were undying
grabbing for breath, hooked
to metal and tube
all that time where was I?
Being domestic, tending pots,
with your drama
playing out elsewhere.

Unaware, just an ordinary
non-crisis night with stars and
moon and wind
like all the other nights.
Forgive me.

And was there a tunnel and how
could I have
not been at the other end
tight on the tug rope pulling
and pulling and pulling
like the Amazon
I am not? But I would’ve
I would’ve I would’ve
had I been there to witness your
fighting to live or even unlive.

But I, I would have been
the one of the two of us
to make that decision,
dug in hard, yanked, sworn,
wrenched every bone in my body,
sweated, with my hands bleeding
and raw not hands to stroke
and soothe you. They had
other, harder things to do.

Haul you roughly
back to a world
where you had other,
harder things to do.


by Gill Ward

The dream
jumped into bed
with me last night
bringing a cast of thousands.
They were insistent and
voracious, really strident
in their demands for attention
and somehow
exchanged heads and names
and bodies and conversations
all of which seemed
perfectly reasonable
but confusing and anxious making.
And I kept up with them too
flailing my arms,
getting plates of food,
glass bottles of milk,
trying to sit discreetly
on a toilet with no door
and when I turned round
no walls either
and every last one of them
was watching or waiting
for their turn and somehow
some of the dead ones
were there too
talking and acting as if they had never left and
I thought ‘what mean trick to pretend you were
dead all this time. That wasn’t fair.
You gulled me and I believed you.’
And just as I was about to give up grieving
they all went back dead again.

Then mercifully I was
on a train to Rome with no ticket
and my only problem
was looking for my passport
and it seemed calming
until I saw the toilet at the
end of the carriage
with no walls and
only one scant curtain.

Tiny eyes

Tiny eyes (Translates to Matariki)
by George Sabonadiere

Staring up at many a starry night,
I notice thousands of tiny eyes,
staring back down at me.
For as Winter comes, Autumn leaves
behind nothing, but for pile upon pile of
foul smelling, nutrition lacking,
fiery leaves. But where weather lacks,
morale makes up for it in the stony eternity
that is Winter. As Papatuanuku, the
Lady of the land awakes,
A chilly, white blanket tucks the
snap-frozen grass in for Forty winks.
The food chain is oiled and made ready for
use as the Hunting season begins


Matariki – 2
by George Sabonadiere

Shoulder to Shoulder,
Eye to eye,
the Stars will show us when time is nigh,
for food to fly and run and swim,
and winter winds to howl and sigh.

To gather and purge,
Our joy will merge,
Our iwi will grow strong,
But sticking together,
No matter the weather,
Is the chorus of our blessed song.

So with Matariki,
we share our mihi,
our sacred voice is heard,
by shining cuckoo far above,
the Matariki Bird.

Matariki -1

by George Sabonadiere

Seven Stars that shine so bright,
to celebrate the longest night,
Glowing for all eyes to see,
and gone again,

Time of plenty now awaits,
as Brilliance still radiates,
and as we stare at light-stained skies,
We think about

Crops we’ll grow and birds we’ll catch,
harvesting our perfect patch,
Unity will bind us, brothers,
we’ll meet again,

Bud burst

Bud burst
by David Chadwick

Bud burst
The worst
Of winter over

Fern/s unfurl
A curl
Of new koru

eeds stir
Warm earth spurs
Rebirth – the surge of life
Beneath the ground

And the sound
Of water
Trinkling over mossy rocks
As snow melts

The first signs of spring
Smelt on the wind
And felt in the blood

Bringing us the chance to try again

Information spring

Information spring
by David Chadwick

Look down from a satellite, show me the borders
Show me the lines, of artificial order
Where are the countries, the coloured patches?
Nothing is visible, nothing matches
No arbitrary delineations
No empires, realms, states or nations
No random barriers or boundaries
No subjugated territories
The maps and charts, they were only a tool
For those who would divide and rule
Look down from a satellite, see first-hand
Our world is only water and land

And daily that world is shrinking
Our thinking interlinking
Frontiers vanish like a dream
Dissolved under a digital stream
It pours around the passport halls
Across the ditches, over the walls
Through the moats, past warning signs
The razor wire, the tanks and mines
Past gates and checkpoints, towers and guns
And joins each person one-to-one

Behold the new Jericho!
No trumpets sound
But walls come tumbling down

First contact

First contact
by David Chadwick

Pulse, pulse, pulse
They start, start, start
Intermittent at first
Tentative, tentative, tentative
Like fingers feeling their way
From a distant star, star, star
Then becoming more regular
Establishing a rhythm
Taking on form, form, form, form,
Finding the paths
Between the galaxies
Passing the planets
Pulsing patterns
Patterns suggesting meaning
Meaning signifying intelligent design
A sign, a sign, a sign
Of life!

I remember exactly where I was when the news broke.
Everyone does they say.
It was the shortest day,
And I was in the garden planting garlic.

My wife called from the house. “Come and listen to this!” she said.
It was on the midday bulletin.
It took a while to sink in,
But when it did, you felt all strange and wonderful inside.

How amazing it was to know that we are not alone.
But I remember saying at the time,
“So we’ve made contact. Well that’s all very fine,
But it’s what we say next that really matters.”


byChloe McLeod

I want to live in a city where no one knows my name
Where the only thing familiar to me is the suns path across the sky
And I will follow it in a straight line as there’s nowhere else to go so I might as well go forward
Where every street corner is an unexplored maze of new faces and places
Both of which know and expect nothing of me
Me who will probably be gone in the time
It takes to exhale
I long for everything I am or have ever been to be erased in one swipe
Who I was
Who I am
Choose to define me from any stereotype
It doesn’t matter anymore
It can be the best kind of dress up
Because it’s real
Slip on a new skin
For a day or forever
If it doesn’t fit just right you can always alter it, stich it up or cast it away
Your new skin might move easier
Be more comfortable than what you had before
After all my old skin is just a patchwork
Made of carefully constructed squares from everything that I have done
But I’m curious if I peel them away what’s left underneath
I don’t know what I will find but hide and seek was always my favourite childhood game
And from this I’ve learnt that if you haven’t found what you want you need to start looking in a new place
Unless you’re looking for your lost phone or keys which will you can rely on being found when you’re 10 minutes late regardless of where you look
And in the city I will begin searching in the quite of an empty shop, the conversation with a street corner musician, the bustle of the streets, the colours
in a store window
Without exception we all see each other through tainted eyes
Stained by past experiences
How I’m treated leads to how I act leads to how I see myself
That’s why I need to readjust my compass, and fill in new maps in my head
But I’ll be sure to put a little x in red where I’ve come from so I can always find my way home
I’m off to pack my bags
My baggage
And I’ll be on my way

The Lustre Jug

The Lustre Jug
by Charmian Koed

The lustre jug on the top of the dresser
Shining through the decades and the miles from ‘home’
A wedding gift from “her at the big house”
“That jug’s for you, pet.”
But what say if Grandad hadn’t gone to war
And hadn’t knocked on Grandma’s door?
Then we wouldn’t have been born!
All that washing in the roller presser
And all that fleece for the spinning wheel and comb
Cooking meals for the shearers and the rousies
“..plenty of work in this old girl yet!”

Yes, we would, we would have been born!
But we wouldn’t be us; we’d be some other
With a different father and a different mother.

The lustre jug still sits on the dresser
Still is the icon which for me means home
Full of family memories which time can’t douse
Full of family wishes that can’t be met>

Constellation of the Heart:Baby’s on Fire

Constellation of the Heart:Baby’s on Fire
by Charlotte Kelly Maguire

Burning through plastic,
Shuffling at speed – this girl doesn’t have a need
To crawl.
Coaxing friends to play,
Adamant the world is safe
– A holiday to stay,
Self mythologizing all the way.
Pretty soon she alters her name,
Cap gun blows.
Smoke surrounds turning
Her on and off.
Seeing his familiar body ahead
Its dark,
Lights zap on and off.
Bodies evaporate,
It’s a whisper too late.
The edge of the pool is there

And she goes in by mistake.
A Yellow haze goes out over this quiet lake.
Dancing submerged,
To make her charade.
Down here it is quiet as half,
It’s light.
Romance is easy to find.
In-estimatable jewels found all embedded in skulls
– A lost beauty combo
Too potent to surrender.
Looking up is to see reality
Bending you back in the half light.
She might
Come up and see about
Testing out lungs.
But pretty sirens remain,
You better throw her in the water.
Though she knows a crumbling sea-bank

And this time running,
When she throws herself off the edge,
She hits a body solid and it’s a warm thud.
– It’s a sound more familiar
Than the splash of a bathysphere.

Constellation of the Heart: The Geology of Psychology

Constellation of the Heart: The Geology of Psychology
by Charlotte Kelly Maguire

Is much easier to navigate this way.
When we bring it home we see
It’s easy to stay.
But instead – take the brail trail.
Two hours in, your feet are feeling everything and then
Cleopatra’s Pool reveals itself to you.
You slip on the ancient lichen
But It’s your own private waterslide
And see how the diamonds are falling waist side.
Slipping under the skin,
Blue crush can now begin.
Blue Crush
You are visiting me in hospital
After an extreme wipe-out and near-drowning incident.

This has temporarily halted my surf career and left me
with deep-seated fears.
White sheets cover my lap.
I’m almost better now and you deal me three?
Set Match.
You say there is a sequence,
You seem to know it well
But I can’t see a pattern – blue crush begins to swell.
Do you like this game because you always win?
You know, a language of foreign symbols is not a concept
foreign to me
But you see, your databank is fuller,
You are potent and way smarter and so,
I grab the lever and I pull it down.
Three symbols start spinning –
This time I have dealt them to myself.
Yellow smoke escapes from the hand grenades I’m throwing
And I’m reeling as I breath it in.
Aqua’s and silver’s light me up –
Sonically blowing the visual powder around.
If I recognise this design I’m making,
Then it’s mine for the taking,

Not yours, Ok – stop.
I’ll take you back to Sumner Beach
Where I am learning to surf with my friend the peach,
It’s 2002 and we lay down our homework the night before;
A film ‘Blue Crush’ – came out earlier that week.
Quipped with the lingo and stripped to the sun
We set out next morning to lie in the calm,
Edging our boards,
Applying bait
And balm.
Beginning to clear a threatening young swell,
Picked up so high it’s both truth and dare.
Up for a second
Then I close my eyes
And bomb.
Smashed under this salt dog wave,
I check myself against the blue backdrop for proof of injury,
Crystalline minerals rapidly forming their crust all over me.
I head back to the yellow shallows and heap my nectar into piles.
I bathe in the aqua tints and realise I’m leaking mercury.

Of course – I don’t reveal any of this to the inter-mingling beach goers.
Can we measure the fever?
Hit the love-o-meter and hold up some shimmering powder to the light?
Perhaps it is the diamond cutters who decide.
It‘s this search;
For ‘the wave’
Promising ‘thousands of luminous spheres!’
Found in
Blue light, audience fright,
Sub pop, shoo-wop,
Fan blowing,
All the cards around.
I see three.
The only pattern I see,
Is the way the fan blows
On the digital heart beating and I’m digital illiterate – so
I don’t know – but I can disconnect too.
And when I do, I’m free.

Constellation of the Heart:Hey Rotorua

Constellation of the Heart:Hey Rotorua
by Charlotte Kelly Maguire

Yeah, I see you’re angry,
It’s as clear as mud.
You’re blistered and burnt
But I know it’s not your heart.
Hey Tongariro,
Your toxic smoke billows.
Reminds me of a yellow song,
A song for somebody else.
Hey Iceland,
I never got to see you.
Remember that time I was last your way?
See, I hope to host a science fair
And right now all I’ve got is oxygen
And a banana and a bottle,
Got a match?

The Quake Drums

by Barbara Strang

For now you are stretched in the sun
taking it easy … you have said

to your friends, No quakes
for a while … dare we hope?

But in Canterbury province
the quake drums are beating

Waitaha Lake Taylor Inchbonnie
Oxford Rata Peaks McQueens Valley
and the Canterbury Ring Laser.

The thin red spikes on the seismograms;
showing deep in her bowels the earth is xunsettled,

a two year attack of the collywobbles,
peppermint tea will not soothe her.

Inside your chest your own heart keeps beating
while you watch and wait for what happens next

under Kaiapoi, Rolleston, Pegasus, Diamond Harbour,
strike slip, reverse fault, perverse fault, whatever?

The drums have their rhythm,
and soon they’ll be building –
did you feel that titillation?

In Canterbury province
the quake drums are beating

Waitaha Lake Taylor Inchbonnie
Oxford Rata Peaks McQueens Valley

and the Canterbury Ring Laser.

A ripped South Island map

A ripped South Island map
by Barbara Strang

Tonight drifts of cloud
sail over the sad face of
the gibbous moon

the onshore wind rips through,
there’s a stiff chop
on the Estuary –

the birds are acting up:
oyster catchers swirl about
and gulls are scrapping,

there’s no rest to be had
in this flimsy shack behind
a stand of flax and twiggy ngaio.

You were beached too long
on this crab-pocked shore,
time to leave,

it’s not too late to pack the van
to take the road, and spin
the wheel towards the South.

following a spiders web
of brown lines on the map,
inland to ranges where the Waitaha

left cryptic symbols on a rock,
and where paths peter out
on a headland

where fur seals gather
and shelter against
wind and frost.

you can connect with the rocks and mountains of your past
Beached up
the sad grey men who once declared
they were true,

to where you came from

leave your ghosts behind –
brown seal colonies or penguin
stading on a brown rock

Naked Feet

Naked Feet
byBarbara Strang

In this classic summer
my shoes slip off easily,
my bare feet grope across
worn carpet or wooden stairs –
moist grass is like a kiss.

At Lake Wakatipu each summer
we took off our shoes, walked bare.
First without their armour
my soles were pierced
by every pebble

but soon I could run over
dry turf and lakeside gravel.
My soles became
black and hard,
filthy as the road.

Naked feet could creep
naked feet could caress
could slip into the flawless waters
of the lake where they shivered
naked feet could dance.

The long hot summer ended,
February and school came around,
the soles scrubbed clean
were reimprisoned
in their cowhide tombs.


by Alexander Theory

I sit quietly on the precipice
Feet dangling over the tiny full stop
The mark that ends this chapter
And points the way on to the next
My eyes fixed forward on the void
Of pages yet unwritten
As the void stares silently back into me
Stirring my soul with the promise of creation
Elation, frustration, and the myriad emotion
That comes from venturing into nothing
There is no fear now, but a steely determination
To heed the call and move without resistance
I know not where nor how but vaguely what
Like plot lines forming and collapsing
Dancing and tracing their lines upon the pages
A free form poem by the hand of God
That will take me this way and that
Forwards and back
With perfect timing
Rhyming and structure
Form and function
Syntax and punctuation
Like the tiny full stop that will close the next chapter
And leave me sitting, feet dangling on the precipice

After That Dark Night

After That Dark Night
by Alexander Theory

So ends this careless time
The dark night of my soul
Feet planted firmly
On the soil of my home

My motherland
My whenua
Guided by the Spirit here
Stripped of all my fear

My footfalls into nothingness
Met by rising ground
My eyes perceive the land ahead
My ears perceive the sound

My faith now rests in Atua
My path unfolds beyond
I’ve come to fix the broken things
I’ve come to right the wrongs

I’ve done the work inside of me
That needed to be done
Now I take that battle to the streets
Until the day is won

Until the day is such
That our starving kids can eat
Their minds are clothed in wisdom
And there’s shoes upon their feet

Their waiata no longer sad
Their hearts no longer mourn
This country will stop failing them
A new time will be born

Our government will learn to care
To listen to the calls
To breach the demarcation lines
To tear down broken walls

To show the population
That their voice is being heard
To speak loud with their actions
Not with endless pointless words

Through unity we will achieve
The people’s faith restored
The noise of dying “us and them”
Will justly be ignored

We will as one begin to sing
Pori whenua ahau
No reira, tena koutou
Kia kaha, kia mau

Rise of the Peacemaker

Rise of the Peacemaker

by Alexander Theory

Can the unstoppable force overcome the immovable object? The waves have been a teacher with more wisdom than any I have ever had before. Something so constant, so committed, so unflappable as the lapping or crashing of the waves upon the shore. If you need any evidence of her relentless nature, look no further than the foreshore, great boulders and cliff faces worn down to grit. A true mechanical entity, with precise surety, well versed in engineering, mathematics, weather patterns and fluid dynamics. Who would have thought a philosophical question would have an engineering solution? The answer is no, but the question lacks precision, it doesn’t quite paint the picture as it happens. I dive into the crashing waves, stretched out long, offering no resistance, the wash thunders around me but still I glide forward in the water like a shark, no resistance. I am the immovable object. Suspended weightless I overcome the unstoppable force by holding ground, offering no resistance as it rages around and past me, trying to capsize me or push me backwards. The way of the seas, the ultimate peacemaker.

The parallels to life do not need pointing out thus, especially to those who fight for justice, the Davids versus their Goliaths. History’s great peacemakers have been here before, the art of war is in passive resistance, principled adherence coupled with civil disobedience, your silence is considered tacit acceptance, so be not silent but give unto Caesar that which is Caesars. The fight is an uphill playing field, you must play by their rules, or the game is over, but you can win by their rules if you know where they bend. So stand peacemakers, face rows of riot shields, plow fields as Te Whiti did, collect salt as Gandhi, be not silent, tip toe that fine line between real change and hard time, wherever you see injustice speak, and seek conciliation. Peace is not achieved when nations put down their guns, peace is achieved when people embrace their neighbors as their brothers and sisters. It is achieved when people no longer speak of peace with longing in the same breath as cursing the person that parked in their carpark. Be peace and you will see peace, wish not to see it in the world if you cannot be it in your world. Change yourself and the world changes with you. So can the unstoppable force overcome the immovable object? That much up to you.

Different Stars, Different Sky

Different Stars, Different Sky

by Aalix Roake

Moving was always so easy:
Pack your stuff in boxes
and go.

The first night, stand outside
looking at the sky and feeling
at home.

But the big move,
northern hemisphere to
southern hemisphere

leaves you disoriented—
looking up at the night,
spotting Orion’s belt

but all the rest are wrong,
twisted somehow until
they are not recognizable.

For your mind
all the night is missing.

Rosanna Raymond

Rosanna Raymond

Rosanna Raymond

Rosanna Raymond was born in Auckland New Zealand of Samoan decent and currently lives and works in London with her family.
A ‘Tusitala’ (a teller of tales) at heart her art practice takes a variety of forms ranging from installation works, spoken words and body adornment, fusing traditional pacific practises with modern innovations and techniques.
A published poet and writer, with art works held in museum and private collections around the world, Raymond has forged a role for herself over the past 15 years as a producer and commentator on contemporary PI culture, both in Aotearoa NZ, the UK and the USA working within museums and higher education institutions as an artist, performer, curator, guest speaker, poet and workshop leader.
Raymond has undertaken art residencies at the De Young Museum San Francisco, University of Hawaii Manoa and the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology UK, where she curated the internationally acclaimed Pasifika Styles exhibition with Dr Amiria Salmond.
An active member of the London based Polynesian cultural groups Beats of Polynesia and Ngati Ranana, Raymond continues to exhibit write and develop her art practice.
Her poem SLEEPING WITH MOUNTAINS is included in Aotearoa Found in Translation and is publsihed in New Dialogues and New Beginnings- Poetry Anthology 2013

A new Language-Hypothesis for Two Voices

A new Language-Hypothesis for Two Voices
by Martin Porter

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone. “ – Albert Einstein

He has spent most of the evening
Analysing the data, looking for
The form that it takes, plotting a scatter graph

Looking for differences in a table.
But now, fatigued by the effort
His eyelids fall and he fails to see

The list of numbers appears to be formed
As a sestina, final stanza unfolded,
Another column makes
A short sequence of sonnets,
Untitled, all concrete
Abstract, unspoken.

There is no mathematical logic
In this poetry of relationships.

“As long as one employs method only on symbols one remains within the limits of a sort of game. In action that has method about it, we ourselves act, since it is we ourselves who found the method “ – Simone Weil

He has spent most of the evening
Analysing the scansion, looking for
The form that it takes, counting the syllables
Looking for the stresses in a table.
But now, fatigued by the effort
His eyelids fall and he fails to see

The sequence of words arranged in the form
Of an oscillator, once random noise is removed,
A rhythm made up from
A repetition of sound,
Unstressed, all concealed
Evident when spoken.

There is more than simple poetry
In the mechanics of recitation.


by Louis Ariki Tait

Hello Moon, how do you do?
I’d like to come and see you
Your gravity pulls the waters in me
Conjuring a fantastic type of lunacy
When you’re up there at night
So distant and pale and bright
Are you aware of your luminosity?
Or can you only see
The black night and the distant galaxy?
Then comes the cold hard light of day
And you could so easily fade away
Though in my mind sleeve your image burns bright
And I yearn for the night.


by Louis Ariki Tait
Why are we the most erudite, when we’re asleep
Last night I watched over Wellington city from a high place
Then a gigantic bust of a beautiful, wise and strangely familiar man appeared
To me
And he shook his head
I was not sure if he was directing this to me
So I asked him if he would nod
And he did nod
And I did know.
Then I was on a long wind swept beach
And a wise horse was there
And I asked the horse
What should I do?
The horse did not speak, but frolicked in the water
So I joined him
And in the sea a father and his young daughter flew a gigantic kite
I clutched the little girl’s hand tightly
As waves crashed over me
Then I let go
And the father and daughter flew high into the air
And I cannot explain to you
The beautiful sight I saw
As I looked up
And the waves crashed over me