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A SUBURBAN SUNDAY EVENING – poetry compt. 2016


In the soft, dark light of the cosy cottage

Four faces gleam which in the bright light of day

Display middle-age jowls, crinkly eyelids

With edgings fraying into ravines, and now

They become exquisitely beautiful

Fullness of face has gone

Smiling couples toasting wine glasses at dining room table






Ah, youth has returned as we laugh and

Talk of the news, the missing plane

Innocent people killed in France

Then to music, family, work, cooking

Books and favourite writers


We eat cannelloni with spinach salad

Salty, crisp olive bread, drink red and white wine

As we listen to the Ave Maria with Kiri


Age will return tomorrow at the office desks

In the silvery blazing light of neon tubes.


© Isha Wagner

QUANTUM THEORY – poetry compt. entry 2016

Quantum Theory – a villanelle

black hole








When we’re swallowed by a singularity —

so reach our end, and maybe start again —

and time goes on, or not, as case may be,


it’s all just quantum waves, impossible to see.

Such gloom to feel purpose is in vain

when we’re swallowed by a singularity!


The belief in world’s particularity

is just our ego shielding us from pain,

and time goes on, or not, as case may be.


We, as observers, make reality

from ripples, fleeting things that won’t remain

when we’re swallowed by a singularity.


We are told a vacuum’s packed with energy.

The truth of this is hard to ascertain —

and time goes on, or not, as case may be.


A lightbulb’s vacuum could destroy a galaxy,

a notion that might come to seem quite sane


when we’re swallowed by a singularity

and time goes on, or not, as case may be


©  Tony Chapelle

POWDERED PATH TO MUSKET WARS – poetry compt. entry 2016

Powdered path to the musket wars

Into Battle: Three Cheers for Our Enemies!


there are bats in my nest

so I flee Ruapekapeka

Hongi Hika troubling me for a reload

carrying Ngapuhi on his back

missionaries in his pocket

fearful iwi disappearing below Kororareka

and shredded uniforms bleeding red on red

© Keith Nunes

SPINE – poetry compt. entry 2016


Wooed by a song of concerts

and dance floors seething

when she wore her hair

and dresses longguitar woman

and was out of her quiet depth

ever acting cool

she was downing coffee

during daylight

at the Cafe European

when the riffs climbed her spine

to swagger through her head

where all she knew was pleasure


© Leslie McKay


MAKING WALLS – poetry compt. entry 2016

Making Walls

The hardest thing

To comprehend

Was that despite all odds

We’d never be that great love story.

Though there was a time

I was so sure.


Never thought we’d let

Each other slip away

Like water down the drain.

Into different paths

In different directions

In different towns.


Sometimes I think

of what a tragedy it is

for us to build towers so tall,

that we couldn’t see.

That it was not a home

but a barrier of walls.

Stacked so high with bricks.

With my weakened state and

feeble limbs

I could not crack

Nor chip away

At aggregates and paste

to see even the slightest trace

of light.


Instead of fighting

With power tools and strength

We stepped back

Arched our heads to the sky

And thought,colloseum

Even in a time when all we had

was art and dreams,

We were still able

to construct our



© Tessa Calogaras

TO DO – poetry compt. entry 2016

To Do

I sat on the edge of the bed

The pillow stood up

Notepad in hand

“What flavour Time Fritter will it be today?

You can have dream flavoured

Height flavoured


There’s amble flavouredge of bed. jpg

Thought flavour

How about space?

Go matrix! Go 3D!”

I yawned

“On special is staring

With a side of zone out

Or procrastination


Writing flavoured goes well with a glass of doodle

People can choose between three sizes of Mind

A small thought, medium worry or large of angst

How on edge would you like to get?”

He sat there waiting for me to make a decision

“Pardon me, Pillow, I don’t mean to fritter your time

But I’ll pass on a Time Fritter

And just take a nap”


NAP – poetry compt. entry 2016


The dynamism was a crowded beach bustled and bruised together.   Nocturnal on night-time trill, the sand was  all blanched electric.   The sky was an absorbing satin creased behind the clouds and,beach kisses   as most start trunks, his palimpsest skin should have been made on the shingle of the sea.   His poor topaz tongue emerged  from a footnote drawn in the sand.   It was these rich words that made him the carver of stones.    The boy made the azure of the sunset a peach-kissed amaranth and he  caricatured the kiss also.   Defining himself, he was the  fittest survivor in his manifesto of dreams, questioning swerving love because he was just ‘too youth’ to matter.   He thought it strange how two teenagers could ignite desire with a caress.    How the sharing of spittle savoured promise.   So he dreamt on it and philosophised how there was an animalism in it   like a hunting great white shark trolling fish.   He gazed lovingly though    at the ritual.   Transposed on a bed of sighs, he dreamt with blood on his knee-caps.   Blood on his swollen head too.    He dropped off his tea leaf for one last taste of that bastille with those loves he was most partial to: assurance and that wanderlust.       We wrote together in the margins & called it: ‘the tomorrow poem’    because that’s how the stars read.    We geared-up    just to be on the safe side of tomorrow – to make sure he got there in time to read them     (wherever there is).


© Jamie Trower

Enter now! Tararua District Library Annual Trivia Quiz 2016

Calling all Trivia buffs – our 8th annual Trivia Quiz is on 7th September 2016, trivia quiz picture

Team “3 Assets & a Liability” (MCI of Dannevirke) currently hold the trophy for this hotly contested event.

Who will take on these five-time winners?  Can a team from another town win the title? Even if you’re not competitive, it’s a whole lot of fun!

The (optional) fancy dress theme is “Olympics”.  Prizes for

District Champion

Highest score per town

Best fancy dress

Spot prizes

Refreshments provided; BYO beer/wine.

Join in the fun!

Get your team together and register by 5.30pm Friday 2nd September.

Teams can consist of up to four members, aged over 18 years.

PRINT   Trivia Quiz 2016 entry form 

You can request an entry form by email –

Go on.. join in the fun!


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – poetry compt. entry 2016

Beauty and the beast

Her face, so innocent. Her words, so sweet

She’ll have you smothered in deceit

Watch her move, watch her sway

You’ll find you are the perfect prey


Her smell so inviting, her touch, so pure

She’ll only make you crave for more

©2008-2016 elfgrlshizuka

©2008-2016 elfgrlshizuka

Watch her laugh, watch her cry

You’ve come too far to say goodbye


Her mind, so complex, her fire, so bright

She’ll cause the pain and bring the fight.

Watch her smile, watch her taunt

You’ll question, whats behind those walls?


Her face, so innocent. Her words, so sweet.

She’ll eat you up within a week.

Watch her hunt, then watch her feast,

Behind the beauty lies a beast.


© Lois Westerman


THE GREAT OCEAN – poetry compt. entry 2016

The great ocean

Quiet in the morning with the day unwritten

And the dawn strangled by cloud,

Lacking caffeine, vitality,

And the keys too loud against the attenuated light outside,

There the wind and rain fight over the few scraps of attention

I can bring to bear,

There the great ocean looming through the glass,

To swallow fear and hope in the same tide.


Among the rocks a small note of discord,

Tearing holes in time which I can’t afford to ignore but neither can I find.

Why have you abandoned me to these modern miracles?

When if given the choice I would drown,

Or at least slip down into some sort of oblivious dream,

Leaving the tyranny of my screen to the gulls.

Their sharp cry is a clarion call to abandon

Such sedentary folly,Businessman Using a Laptop Computer by the Sea

Or at least to dress, breakfast, and join the thick press of demands ahead.

I tap on instead.


© James McGoram


THE HOLDING PADDOCK – poetry compt. entry 2016

The Holding Paddock

She messaged me overnight,

Our old friendship recently renewed

Thanks to Google,

It seems I have a shorter journey than first thought.


Life was a party back then, we dressed with care.

Drove too fast, drank loudly, laughed often

Rated ourselves –



The farm lush in sunshine as I set off

In the corner paddock, our neighbour’s lone cow

Ancient parched skin drawn across sunken hind,

Old eyes turned towards the cattle-yard ramp, waiting.


My friend, hair faded, eyes dull, she moves with care.

Baggy clothes so unlike her stylish norm

Hide tubes of poison swelling her body,

Had it with hospitals, she said.

old ladies on couch






Tea grows cold, biscuits lie forlorn

They call this seaside town the holding pen you know,

I want to grasp her weak laugh

It’s so good to see you.


Goodbye was a word we never used

It sat silently on the couch between us

Leave as if you’re coming back



Can’t recall the highway home until the last bend

Wipers battling with sudden rain

Seal turns to metal turns to mud,

At the gateway fresh tyre marks curve into the distance.


© Susan Berry


THE END – poetry compt. entry 2016

the end

i was still warm. you ran your hand through your hair, said, i’m sorry. i felt my breath

stop and catch in my lungs. stuck, i stood there crying on your shirt until you pushed

me away softly. when i looked up again, the clouds were rushing past like ghosts and

the city couldn’t love me anymore. you didn’t take my hand and instead whispered,

let’s get you home. the wind gave my cheeks a final brush of red before going quiet

like everything else.


you didn’t look back and i began looking for the signs. i closed my eyes and prayed to sad under moonlight

the moon and begged her to take me away. she said i would have to take the piercings

out my ears and the white noise out of my heart and then i would be able to find old

me again. i told her all i could hear was your voice and nothing else. when i opened

my eyes, she was already shaking her head and saying goodbye. too tired to do

anything else, i watched the stars move on without me.


© Emma Shi


Hold the date! 21 September 2016 : 7th Annual TDL Children’s Book Awards Quiz

Kids quiz 2016For the 7th time, Tararua District Library is celebrating the best of New Zealand’s books for young people with our Annual Children’s Book Awards Quiz, held simultaneously in each of our four libraries.   Primary schools (and homeschoolers) from Tararua District are invited to submit team(s) of Year 7 / Year 8 children, who will answer questions based on the Children’s Choice finalist books.

Norsewood & Districts School are the current District Champions. Who can knock them off their coveted perch?  The Champion Team get possession of the trophy for a year, plus a prize.  The highest scoring team in each town also get a small prize.     Time to get reading – only 7 weeks to go!


Download the  Children’s quiz entry form or collect one from your library, if your school hasn’t received one by mail.


  1. Primary school teams, and homeschooled students, from within the Tararua district are eligible to enter.
  2. Maximum of 4 students per team. Small country schools are permitted to combine their students with students of other small country schools to make up a team.   Schools can enter more than one team. Homeschooled students are permitted to combine to make up a team.
  3. The quiz will be held simultaneously at each of our four community libraries.   Results will be constantly updated throughout the evening. If entry numbers are low, the library reserves the right to hold the quiz in just two libraries.
  4. The questions will be from the finalist books in the HELL Children’s Choice New Zealand Book Awards 2016 in the picture book, junior fiction and junior non-fiction categories. Young adult fiction is excluded.  See this post for titles.
  5. Each team will need to have collectively read all the finalist books in the relevant categories. All our libraries have copies of the books available for loan.
  6. Teams will be able to quietly confer before writing their answer down on the answer sheet provided, with 20 seconds per question.
  7. In the event of a tie, the top teams will compete in a playoff round.
  8. No adult will be permitted to sit with or confer with the teams until the quiz is finished. No devices will be permitted (smartphones, etc).
  9. The adjudicator’s decision is final.
  10. No answer papers will be returned to contestants or schools after the quiz.

The winning team of the Tararua District Library Children’s Book Awards Quiz will be awarded a prize and possession of the trophy for a year – and bragging rights, of course! The highest scoring team in each particular town will also receive a small prize.




UNREQUITED LOVE – poetry compt. entry 2016

Unrequited Love

One can feel guilty if they know they are the object of another’s desire

Even though there is no rule

No law

That states

“He who loves you

You must love in return”

You cannot force yourself to have feelings for someone you do not attain


But yet

You do not want to let the other down

You do not want to be the cause of their pain



Let me tell you this my sweet

Put your weary mind at ease

There is no need to feel guilty


It is not your fault you do not possess the same feelingsunrequited love

Nor is it theirs for falling for a darling man like yourself

No one is to blame

You cannot control who you fall in love with

Who you give your heart to

Life would be so much more simple if we could

How I wish it were true

But there is no point dwelling on something that is merely a dream


©  Willa Woodhouse



WISDOM – poetry compt. entry 2016


I have a cat.

I belong to him,

He doesn’t care I’ve sold a book –

my thirty-seventh,

Or that an American anthology has taken a story,

Proclaimed it good and paid me well.

I am HIS human,

That’s the important thing.

Where the money comes from doesn’t matter –

So long as it buys food for both of us.

So long as he can sleep,

well warmed against my back on chilly nights.

Demand attention as I type and get it – RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!


He doesn’t care my shape is sacklike, or that I’ll be –loving cat

seventy-one in April of next year.

He doesn’t care if readers know me.

HE knows me –

isn’t that enough and more –

for any human?


He accepts my human failings. I can’t catch mice,

and sometimes when he howls, I’m slow with food,

and THEN I complain about the noise.

How else is a fellow supposed to get his point across?

But I’m HIS human –

so he forgives me.


Love makes us both belong together, he announces with his voice and eyes.

I’m only a foolish human, but – I do know THAT –

which makes me wise!


© Lyn McConchie


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