As the earth turns daily
To face the sun
And the light from long dead stars
As the seasons cycle towards rebirth
And small acts of kindness bring hope
May we find ourselves inclined
To look outwards with generosity
And inwards with gentleness
Brave enough perhaps—
To breathe upon cooling embers
Whisper to the departing dark
And share the hearthspace
With the stranger at our door
A friend may need you
Then you too can be an angel
Speak words of peace
Bless and exchange truths
Heal and warm
And then there will be a lightness
in your step
and a joy in your heart
As the heavens lay claim to such treasure.
This business of change
Roll with it
Even towards it
Reach for serenity
Vulnerability fully acknowledged
The other side of anger-
Preparing to arrive
In each others tomorrow
With only a little skin off our hearts.
Wisdom so elusive
Forgiveness chased away
It is judgement on our doorstep
Far too soon
© Christine Kelly [Wellington]
Islays’ sixth and final entry in our competition.
The Witches Competition
One burning lazy summer day
When Angie felt too tired to play
She sat on the grass in the shade of a tree
To think up a game of “What can I be?”
If I sit on that broomstick lying there
And get some wool for long black hair
I could fly up high above the ground
Casting wicked fearful spells around.
She fetched the broom and put on the wig
And grabbed Nibbles the cat who was black and big.
She called to her brother three year old Joe
“Hop on my broomstick and away we go.”
Just then a small black cloud came by
With a tittering, twittering from the sky.
Angie felt it brush softly against her ears
And a whisper said “Come with us my dears.”
The small black cloud then covered them round
And lifted them high above the ground
Nibbles, Angie and Joe sailed away on the broom
With the cloud of black witches toward the moon.
Fifty black broomsticks with fifty black cats
Long flowing hair and tall pointed hats
Laughing and screeching and jumping with glee
As they sped over mountains and rivers and sea.
Soon they came to a forest far down below
Where hundreds of black twisted trees seemed to grow
They dipped down to a clearing – a large murky glen
Filled with hundreds of witches, cackling, dancing, and then
Just as they bumped down hard on their broom
Hundreds of eerie lights lit the gloom
All the witches sat down on their cushions of stones
In front of a stage with red lanterns and bones.
In a long sparkly gown of purple and green
And a tall black pointed hat sprinkled with stars
and her hand held a wand of moonbeams from Mars.
She raised her arms and the crowd was still
Then she spoke to them in a voice loud and shrill
She said they had come to this dark forest dell
To find the most magic witch with the cleverest spell.
The competition began with shrieks and yells
As each witch had a turn to show off her spells
All sorts of magic they did for the queen
Each trying to be the best ever seen.
Then cats and dogs and big white rats
Pumpkins, mice and ugly bats
Were changed to ladies fine and fair
To princes handsome, debonair.
High leaping toads joined in the maze
And flickering flames began to blaze.
The ground became a sea of flowers
And broomsticks changed to high shining towers.
The blackened twisted trees nearby
Became jewelled archways reaching high.
The dark and gloomy forest glen
Now filled with jewels and small men.
They saw a wonderland of lights
Of colours and amazing sights
All ugly, dark and gloomy things
Were silver, gold, and sparkling rings.
“Now come on Angie. It’s our turn dear.”
A witch voice said in her ear.
“Hang on to the broomstick little Joe.
Hold Nibbles tight while we do our show.”
The broomstick came to life, and then
They swooped and soared around the glen
They somersaulted up and down
And topsy turvied like a clown.
They changed to gaudy birds of song
Swooping down with tails so long
Their feathers of gay orange and green
They perched on the stage and bowed to the queen.
They danced before her and sang so sweet
She clapped her hands and jumped to her feet.
“I do declare, they are the best.
Now change them back and let them rest.”
They sat down with a bump and that was that
Now they were Angie, Joe and Nibbles the cat.
The lights went down, and turned eerie blue
The fine ladies and princes and archways went too.
Then the cloud of black witches raised them up on their broom
They sailed up to the sky and away from the gloom
Once more over mountains and rivers and sea.
And back to their garden and the green shady tree.
“Thank you my dears,” the witchy voice said
And away swept the cloud to the blue over head.
And as the day ended, there they all sat
Just Angie and little Noe and Nibbles the cat.
© Islay Gallagher [Dannevirke]
The remaining four of her seven entries into our competition.
On the crest of a wave enjoying life’s pleasures
The Ogre called FATE laughs and seizes
All that you own and so hard worked for
Now smashed to the ground and stamped on the floor.
So the chips are down and its all over
Like the King and the Pawn go back in the box together
Where do you run, how can you recover?
In despair it seems you’re pelted with rocks.
The wily Pawn sneers, thought you were great,
Join me in the box and await your fate.
Losing a loved one dying of cancer
Lost precious souls in unforeseen disaster
Why them? why me? you cry in despair
Shake fists to heaven, God are you there?
You’re still alive, well and breathing
Don’t let FATE destroy you, rise up and defeat him
Life has its seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn Winter
Spring beckons you and Summer gloriously brighter
Renew your visions and start again
In the race of life it’s no pain, no gain.
You’re special, unique, RISE UP! don’t stop,
The ebbing tide will change and you’ll get to the top.
NIGHT AND DAY
Moon light, silvery beams caressing earth, wooing, enveloping
her into the pearly light of another world of night,
Charming, soothing, casting her sleep dust on jangled nerves
Drawing the oceans and rivers upward in her magnetic kiss
Scurry around minding their own business.
Too soon Old Sol bids her adieu, she catches a glimpse
of sunrise enveloping earth, another day has birthed
Then sinks into her realm satisfied, pleased with what she had to do.
Old Sol floods the earth with light, painting a
kaleidoscope of colours on trees, plants,
and flowers, generating life, energy and beauty.
The clouds co-operate releasing rain and moisture as their duty.
The wind circles and blows around nature singing her own melody.
Evening and morning, night and day never ceases or comes to an end
The Great Creator sits on the circle of the earth watching men
like grasshoppers and creatures in a daze and loves them all
Ensuring they have NIGHT and DAY, evening and morning without end.
TEARING OF THE FLESH
It is so hard to release a loved one into the adult world away from home
Protected and sheltered all these years to fend for themselves,
Studying, working, striving to succeed in a future yet unknown.
I sit in the empty room, silent, see the things left behind
On the desk, on the walls, smell the perfume lingering in the air.
Then the tears fall and I breathe a prayer,
I’ve taught you all the social graces, kindness and respect
Honesty the best policy to God only accountability.
You will be fine, I’m planning for home-coming, a wonderful time
Fly free, don’t lose sight of home, secure and safe
Waiting for your return precious child of mine.
Sometimes I’m disappointed that man has reached the moon
Because I like to picture the old witch and her broom
Sailing past her swiftly on a cool starry night,
Making all the wee folk run away in fright.
How can there be moon fairies in such an ugly place
No pretty flower to sit on, no nectar there to taste
The hard moon rocks are plain to see, just what man has done
Shattered dreams of fantasy and moon struck days are gone.
No more will little children gaze up at the sky
And point with awe and wonder at the lovely moon so high
And say, “There is the old man with the sticks on his back,
He disobeyed the Law you see and now he can’t come back.”
The moon was such a mystery, beautiful and still
But now that man has gone up there, it has lost its thrill
‘Cause all I seem to think of when I look up there
Is a cold and lifeless planet, horrible and bare.
© Nancy Nina Byrne [Woodville]
The first three of her seven entries into our poetry competition:
FEEDING BOBBY CALVES
It’s that time again, dairy cows are birthing
Calves are dropping night and morning
Feeding new born calves is one mad race
Tired and cold the farmer’s wife
Looks tenderly at each confused face.
She grips a calf between her legs and thighs
Gently pushes his face into the warm fluid
Her milky fingers submerged, touching his mouth.
She smiles as each one learns to suck
And quickly guides it to false udders.
The last victim struggles, wanting mother
She pleads and coaxes the little one
Refusing to follow what the others have done.
In sheer relief she straightens her back
Daylight has gone, how quickly its flown
She muses as she trudges home
Each little calf has a character its own
Her mother heart softens for calf and mother
It must be agony missing each other.
Think positive now and just don’t worry
Like the seasons that come and go
Calving time and bobby calves
Just one of them in the yearly flow of
Birthing, growing, living and dying
But I guess I’m human and do feel sorry
For little bobby calves and their destiny.
IS THERE A POET IN YOU?
There is a poet or poem in everyone waiting to be released
in song, dance, love, laughter, thought, word, sorrow even disaster,
Life is a kaleidoscope of colours and passions, longings
for true love and empathy when things go wrong.
Trouble strikes family and friends and all seem lost in
the tapestry of life, it’s not the end!
Deep down in the living soul springs a search for faith and hope
to lift them above the shadows
The fight for survival and success that surely
TIME the great healer softens and shares the load.
Like a ray of sunshine in winter’s cold
A cool breeze on a summer day
The hidden poet in man comforts him in thought,
audible or written word, vocally in heartfelt song.
The poem never dies, lives on in whatever form it is expressed
Touching those walking life’s highway carrying a basket
of mixed emotions, scars that lighten but never fade away
Tokens and souvenirs, a chapter of life to tell others about some day.
Yes, there is a poet or poem in you, waiting to be set free
To share, to bless, to comfort or to cheer.
The sound of the waves so soothing
Bare feet gripping the sand, tide receding
Piercing the morning stillness he heard
The call of the mating kikau bird
Mesmerised he stared entranced, feeling free
Red morning sun mirrored in the calm sea
Sunshine filtering through the trees
Orange hues tinting the foliage blue
Palm trees gently swayed in the breeze
The scent of white ginger flowers so sweet
In wild abandonment he began to dance
Gliding over the sand into the red water
Crystal clear spilling through his fingers
Gazing at the sky he breathed in deep
Tropical dawn the night wakes from sleep
Sun rays touching heaven kissing earth
The wonder of a new day giving birth.
© NANCY NINA BYRNE [Woodville]
THE PROBLEM SOLVERS
They both smelt gas
And thought what should we do
One lit a match
Together they should go far
You ask are they alright
I don’t know
They should be back soon
Gravity works on all of us
© John Priest [Woodville]
Another entry in our competition…
Big congratulations to Sarah Walsh for her winning poem “Rosa’s Hair”. Our judge, published poet Belinda Diepenheim, loved her poem, describing it as “ original language and premise – and fun”. Well done Sarah!
Belinda also highly commended these poems:
- “The Problem Solvers” by John Priest
- Steven Clarkson’s haiku – Great word choices.
- Muriel Cowan’s “Three’s A Crowd”
- Jeanette Shinton’s “Random Thoughts”
We received over 55 entries to the competition, a fantastic effort. Thanks to all entrants for your wonderful poems. Our library staff have enjoyed reading them, along with our blog readers.
The remaining poems will be published on our blog through Saturday and Sunday (we had SO many!) so keep your eyes open for those.
The river whispers over stones
Soon meeting brooding waters
From mountain pass eternal springs
Through granite gorge, eager rapids chase kea’s cry
Guarding silver shimmers by moonlit sky
Sturdy beech bolster gentle curves
Dewdrops fall from glistening leaves
The river whispers over stones
Content near journeys end
© Phillip Scott 2014
An entry in our online poetry competition, from Wellington.
A Library Poem – Lonely Book
As I sit waiting patiently, I begin to gather dust
The breeze circulating is never enough.
“Oh look – here comes someone, maybe they will take me out?”
Darn Drat Rubbish! It is just the library assistant dusting the shelf…
You pick me up and I think I am leaving,
As tears fall softly I realise you are bereaving.
As you handle me firmly and look over my spine,
It gives me a warm fuzzy, It feels right this time
“No! Please! STOP!” do not put me back…
My cover is pushed hard in place, with a squish, and a SMACK!
Jammed into place with no room to move,
“Oh please take me out, I am ever so smooth”.
I promise you may like me,
You may even want to buy me.
“Ah Yes, hello? I’m here, can you see thee?”
Darn Drat Rubbish! It is the library assistant coming to unsqueeze me.
As I sit waiting up here on the shelf
I sit on the edge and I think to myself
People come and people go,
I am getting rather lonely don’t you know?
“Hang on just wait! Have a good look”
“Read what it says at the back of this book!”
Is what I would say if I could only talk…?
There is only one way to know what is inside.
You have to spread me open really wide
I promise I will never have anything to hide.
So you are here now to borrow a book.
Please put me back nicely after you look.
“OH NO!” Down down down to the floor I go… Blow!
Here I am on the floor, spread open for all to see,
“Please be careful not to tread or step on me”
Yes, it is time I am finally getting up
Darn Drat Rubbish, it is just the library assistant tidying up!
She dusts me off carefully and straightens me out.
“What is this rotation all about?’’
As she picks me up and looks deep into my words
I realise I am on a waitlist, filling in a reserve.
I am now not lonely, upset, sad or blue
However, so proud to be borrowed
and cannot wait to meet you.
Thank you very much library member…
It is you I will never forget
So will always remember.
[Not an entry in the competition, but written by our very own Danielle from Pahiatua Library]
© Danielle Stark (2014)
kick the dunes
© Steven Clarkson [Taupo]
An entry in our poetry competition
It’s only rain
Is that rain coming?
Are you all right?
The cold might come.
I always wondered about that.
What it was that left her,
just standing there.
Like she was waiting for something,
or someone, anything, to improve
Or just change.
You want my raincoat?
I’ll be all right.
It’s only rain.
Some people are simply never prepared.
That is their natural state,
But she never really moved.
She carried doom.
Standing motionless while running
as fast as you possibly can.
It must have been exhausting.
God knows where she is now.
You all right?
It’s only rain.
© Hans Welling (Mangatainoka)
The Big Sucker
I had an experience with good old Nana
vacuuming in a reckless manner
Sucking things up just at random
Causing a very hurried abandon
A waste of time doing in here
I’ve kept the cupboard fairly bare
Only some rice jammed in the door
Our sock home was threatened tonight
That vacuum cleaner has got quite a bite
Sucked the sock right up the tube
Making a strange noise ever so rude
The cleaner’s stuffed, won’t go at all
Nana pushed it against the wall
A strong movement I must confess
My home has gone! What a mess!
The sock has gone but the carton has not
My mansion is still in the muesli box
Nana’s vacuuming hasn’t got much style
Her aim at crumbs is out a mile.
© Badger Bloomfield (Woodville)
There is snow on the mountains
There’s a chill in the air.
My bones are aching with cold.
Each winter gets colder
The wind gets stronger
I think I am getting old.
The snowdrops are showing
The cammellias are blooming.
The promise of spring is near.
Soon the sun will be warmer
The storm clouds roll away
I’ll enjoy spring for another year.
The Mists of Time
Long ago from the mists of time
The Vikings came from afar
They came in ships across the seas
To this land of the Southern Stars.
They felled the forests and built their homes
In the bush many buildings burnt down.
But still the settlers built railways and roads
And created our Dannevirke town.
Bush had to be cleared and families to rear
Far from the loved ones and things left behind
In far off countries with friends they held dear.
Today our thriving town lives on
Our people are prosperous and free
With our shops and the library and cafes galore
It’s a great little town in which to be.
We remember the settlers of early days
The hard times they suffered and planned
To build up our modern and lively town
In this new and difficult land.
The future of Dannevirke is in our hands
As we continue to develop and grow
To build, create, enjoy and live,
And press forward to the future mists of time.
© Islay Gallagher
Another entry in our poetry competition:
you really think its cold
so its been foretold
the world’s not nice when polluted
that’s what we must say
John K rather approves
than makes any sudden moves
and while he sits in his chair
there’s a much bigger affair
fracking must be stopped
© N. Green (Dannevirke)
Three of her six poems, entered in our competition.
Fishermen on the wharf
The gale is blowing
The sea is choppy,
Boats are tied up on the shore
The beach is empty of swimmers,
The fishermen sit on the wharf
Their hair is blowing
Backs bent against the gale
They hope the fish will bite
Their lines are tangling,
Still they sit on the wharf
The white tops race
Towards the shore
And crash against the rocks
Wind sways the jetty
Still they sit on the wharf
Pools of dried blood
From old dead fish
Stain the creaky wooden planks
Gusts blow away the flies,
Still they sit on the wharf
A tug on the line
Is it wind or a bite?
Reel in the line and see
Three squirming spotties for bait,
Still they sit on the wharf
A dance in my heart
A creak and a groan of my aching bones
My painful swollen feet
I move with a walker
I collapse in my chair
I listen to my tired heart beat.
I remember the days of long ago
When I danced and danced all night
I danced the valeta
The fox trot and the waltz
And my feet were dainty and light.
I whirled round the dance floor with handsome lads
To a lively upbeat band
With energy unbounded
Full of fun, full of life,
In my beautiful ball gown so grand.
But now I am old and slow to walk
I have weak and painful bones
I swallow my pills
And rest all day
And sit by the fire with my moans.
But deep inside I am still the same
My mind can take me where it will
And in my heart there’s always a dance
And my spirit is dancing still.
Dannevirke Town Hall
On a corner in Dannevirke is the town Hall
Where a Viking stands guard with his sword.
Where generations of town folk perform their arts
And talents deserve loud applaud.
Many shows, concerts, and plays have been seen
And many a crowd has been there.
There has been laughter and tears and music for years
And encores and laughter to share.
Inside gilded walls surround comfortable stalls
The acoustics are the best to be found
There is singing and dancing and wonderful shows
Our Town Hall is the best hall around.
Long may the hall stand as a venue for art
Generations of audiences have come
Past and present have clapped and cheered
Future Dannevirkians will continue the fun.
© Islay Gallagher [Dannevirke]
AN EBB TIDE
Lemon drop sky.
Taupe sand supporting stolid black rock.
Origami images of people past.
Glide to the sea’s margin .
Then slide beneath the water’s to and fro.
Dissolved; merged and mingled.
A return to the present.
A quiet plod to the shore.
A steady, silky calm.
Then the certain knowledge;
That memories will be returned
With the neep tide.
© Muriel Cowan