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Solstice Prayer ; On change ; Today ; Thought – poems by Christine Kelly

Solstice Prayer
As the earth turns daily

To face the sun

And the light from long dead stars

Reaches us

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

Rekindle flame

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.



On Change
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

Mysteriously undamaged

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]


‘The Witches Competition’ by Islay Gallagher

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 the centre a witch sat who looked like a queen

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]









‘Rise Up’ ; ‘Night and Day’ ; ‘Tearing of the Flesh’ ; ‘Moon Fantasy’ by Nancy Byrne

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.






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

Raising and lowering tides while the night creatures

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.
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]


‘Feeding Bobby Calves’ ; ‘Is there a poet in you?’ ; ‘Tropical Dawn’ by Nancy Byrne

The first three of her seven entries into our poetry competition:




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.






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’ by John Priest



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…

2014 Online poetry competition winner is…

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.

“River Life” by Phillip Scott

River Life


The river whispers over stones

Soon meeting brooding waters


From mountain pass eternal springs

Through granite gorge, eager rapids chase kea’s cry


Craggy massifs watch on

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.

“Lonely Book” by Danielle Stark

The joy of reading

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)

Harakeke by Steven Clarkson


withering winds

kick the dunes
© Steven Clarkson [Taupo]

An entry in our poetry competition


“It’s only rain” by Hans Welling

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,



She was like that, a bit of a dancer.

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’ by Badger Bloomfield

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

There’s not a crumb left on the floor

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)


‘Snow’ ; ‘The Mists of Time’ poems by Islay Gallagher


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.


The work was hard the pleasures were fewdannevirke sign

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







‘Fracking’ by N Green

Another entry in our poetry competition:


Fracking’s  overheating

you really think its cold

fracks not a swearword

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)

‘Fishermen on the wharf’ ; ‘A dance in my heart’ ; ‘Dannevirke Town Hall’ poems by Islay Gallagher

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

And fish.


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

And fish.


The white tops race

Towards the shore

And crash against the rocks

Wind sways the jetty


Still they sit on the wharf

And fish.


Pools of dried blood

From old dead fish

Stain the creaky wooden planks

Gusts blow away the flies,


Still they sit on the wharf

And fish.


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

And fish.




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’ by Muriel Cowan



Ebb tide.

Cellophane sea.

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



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