In an empty playground I hear the echoing throng

 Tui’s clicking din mocking tui’s mechanical song

I see whispering ferns and a lonely kauri tree

  Playing in the winter sun, the intuitive bird and me

Listen to the Tui Here

A Kauri Tree

How silently

How silently they cast their lies–

The deadly bait awaits

The unsuspecting little bites

Nibbling at their fates.

How carefully they set their sights –

Finger poised to shoot

Just above the little calf

Its mother rendered mute.

How joyfully they come and go

All smiles and platitudes

They punctuate their carefree lives

With deadly interludes.

(first posted last July)

Beach House

When invited to a friend’s “bach,” I was surprised to discover that far from being the comfortable, relaxing cottage by the sea where the children could run wild and free, it turned out to be an imposing, sterile mass of straight lines and strict rules, and woe betide anyone who forgot to wash away every grain of sand before entering.

It’s like something out of a magazine;

A precise rectangular sun-dried dream.

We are met with porcelain veneer gleam,

wide like the rich marble slab running through

boundless glass paneled unparalleled view.

Anxious not to let the surrounding sand,

settled in our wild children’s crannies, land

on this desert of weekend luxuries;-

A chrome shower ~ outside please! ~

head strategically poised,

ready to wash away envy and noise.

bach— n
2. a simple cottage, esp at the seaside

Birth of Words

I witnessed a birth of words

as he read aloud

deep bloody wounds

gaping and closing

mouth like womb

lost in that moment

meaning was numb

drowned drum of hypnotic sound

heavy and urgent the words poured

shattered and proud

I yearned to cradle them in my own mouth.

a poem I wrote last year and decided to rewrite

Modern Love

I wrote this poem in response to The Guardian’s Poem of the Week, – a poem which surprised me with its very modern style and attitude, despite having been written 150 years ago.  The commentary is enjoyable too, “it’s as if the scene bustled with ghosts from the future.”

Now modern lovers like to fill their houses

With character, reminders of the past

Period features and things built to last

Salvaged from those shipwrecked eras. We browse

Through toughened-glass windows of woodburners

And see ourselves reflecting, warm and smug

On planting natives and foolhardy shrubs

Reframing John Constables and Turners

Pleased we’ve unearthed such secrets.  Who else knew

Neutral tones and a glass of Chilean red

Could hide disappointment and thoughts unsaid?

We have mint and thyme where daffodils grew.

The truth is revealed on luminous screens

“Ah, love dies, but wood floors are bound to last

And wine spillages can be mopped up fast!”

You and me shiver now in other dreams.

Dinosaur Clouds (My Fear of Earthquakes)

This is a poem I wrote last year.  I realise now that it has less to do with the 2011 Rugby World Cup (here in NZ), and more to do with living with the threat of an Earthquake.  We had a fairly strong one recently!

Dinosaur clouds, slow heavy ships sailing the day’s burnt orange lake

Pterodactyls like gossamer, veiling the night, urging white in the wake

Anxious not to land upon the monsters minds make.


The black underbellies of these suspended reptiles reflect the flare

The floodlight of a menacing stadium’s slow erupting glare.

A warning to this funeral pyre free-falling into some nightmare.


Desperate, dispersed wildebeest, crushing blind unheard into hilly black sky.

Listening to the bubbling stadium’s volcanic victory cry,

Eyes wide,  I’m sleepless and silent as the black clouds hasten by.

(photo: AFL/ Fairfax NZ News)

Moon For Sale (They Can’t Hear You Sing)

[Credit: NASA/JPL]

One moon for sale

Whole or by the slice

A meteoric doer-upper

A star buy


It’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!

Imagine ~

Your own infinity pool overlooking the blue planet

It can’t get better than that, can it?

Navel gaze in your own star spa

Come on, dig deep, it ain’t that far!

Your own private beach

Within easy reach

Of most spaceports

Don’t just live the dream

Live on the dream-making machine

An out-of-this-world investment

A shimmering, cosmic asset

You’ll be the envy of all

Can’t you feel the pull?

She’ll be gone soon so don’t delay

One moon for sale – BUY TODAY!

Cry tomorrow.

You can’t sell me, the moon cried

As they sliced her up like an onion

And dried rivulets filled with tears

But only Earth could hear

They can’t hear you sing, my moon

They never heard my song

They can’t hear a thing, dear moon

They’re all but dead and gone.




‘They called me theirs,
Who so controlled me;
Yet every one
Wished to stay, and is gone…’

Earth-Song, Ralph Waldo Emerson