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Poetry competition entry 2017 : Untitled II

Untitled II

My heart is a conch.
Press your ear here, love;

An ocean heaves for you,
it turns over every rock
again and again
and again. 

“Onwards”- heed it.
But I remain;
lichen-clothed and half-buried.

My heart is a conch.
A specked carapace;
all ridges and spines,
all echo and echo 

and echo. 


© Jess Carter



Poetry competition entry 2017 : A life of hurting

A Life of Hurting

Death seems the best way

But what would that achieve

Pain is temporary relief

But how do you hide the scars


I always feel like nobody cares

When I know deep inside that they really do

Why don’t they show it more

To make me show myself

Why do people hide their feelings

It only makes things worse

Bottling up your emotions

Does not make you a better person


To make life work for you

Is almost an impossible task

Things are sent to try us

To see if we can take the strain


If life was like a lullaby

We would all be better people

But there’s always some big problem

That stands in our way of happiness


Life is a light at the end of a tunnel

Something you can’t reach until you die

So maybe when it’s our time to leave

Will be when we start living our lives


© Karen Wright

Poetry competition entry 2017: Love on the beach

Love on the Beach

As we cackle into the end

Of the coastal coarse road,

The succulent sunlight

Forces our skin to erode,

And while I glide down

Silvery streams

Time mentions my name

Again, and again,

Until I hold her hand

To breath

In the depths of

Her passion

Gliding her sculpted fingers

Through the abundant

Shaved shells;

The future mentions

Sensuality, although

I cannot hear the words

The warning of pleasure

The power of woman

On an empty beach – this

Decorated by love

Our very plasm of heat.


©  Max Duncan

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Angels Round Here

Angels round here

wear Redbands

and never work nine to five.


They rarely take an hour for lunch.


Sometimes at night

they burn hellfire

for warmth.


Angels round here

feed motherless lambs

and smother Marmite on toast.


They have oilskin wings.


Sometimes they take

things they love

for granted.


Angels round here

mow church lawns

and help out at the school.


They split dry wood for the old.


Sometimes their faces

are well-weathered maps

to their hearts.


Angels round here

love their families

and are quite often sad.


They chase rain-coloured clouds.


Sometimes they ride

the roughshod storm

after a calm day.


Angels round here

don’t always agree

with their fathers.


They do things their own way.


Sometimes they quietly

scream for help

without asking.


Angels round here

carry their crosses

like lovers.


They have demons to discover.


Sometimes they can’t

tell the difference

between them.


Angels round here

wear wide-brim halos at

half mast.


They honour the fallen.


Sometimes they rise

with the dawn

to remember.


Angels round here

seldom believe

in themselves.


They are part of the landscape.


Sometimes they exist

only in lives

of other angels.


© Tim Saunders

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Tainui’s Canoe

Tainuis Canoe

Bound south from Tahiti they set to sea

In a canoe made out of a tree

Setting their course by sun & star

They sought a land they hoped was not far

The waves were mountains high & the wind was strong

But still their little craft did battle on

Each gale that came they fought it through

Until they sighted a land which was new

Wayworn & starved they strained their weary eyes

To that strange land far in the west that lies

With joyful voices they shouted long & loud

This is the looked for land of The Long White Cloud


© Ian Mollison

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Dr Seuss’s BIG Secret

Dr Seuss’s BIG Secret

Has anyone wondered when reading Doc’s books?

How most of his animals got their queer looks?

Did he only imagine the Lorex and Cat?

Or is something more sinister under that Hat!


The Sneetches and Grinch and all of his creatures,

I reckon I know, of what they all teach us,

I think our good doc was the first of his kind,

Of BIOTECH scientists we’ll ever find!


His creatures are all the result of G.M!!

Its real plain to see, just look closely at them.

They don’t look animals I‘ve ever seen,

And the reason is clear; he’s messed with their gene!


I reckon that somewhere in Monsanto’s stock.

You’ll find all his creatures behind key and lock.

There’s no other way, let’s not be absurd!

To give to old Horton an elephant bird!


I have to believe it, don’t know about you,

That a gene gun was used for thing one and thing two!

A giraffe was involved, I’m certain of that.

It explains the long neck of the Cat in the Hat.


Forget about drawings and books for the young,

Our Doctor Seuss was Monsanto’s big gun!

Yes he drew lovely pictures and books for school teachers,

But his real obsession was making the creatures!


Bio tech companies will open the door.

We know that they’ll do it, they‘ve done it before!

Let’s hope he made sure that he threw out the key

‘Cos the last thing we want is for them to go free!


There’s no doubt about it, with their brains and cunning.

It wouldn’t take long and the world they’d be running!

They’d take over the planet, and get rid of us

They would manage it quickly, without any fuss


There’s one way to save us, a really great plan,

Oh I am so brilliant, I know that I am!

We’ll close all the borders and stop all the trains,

No swimming, no submarines, rockets or planes.

It’s the only thing for it, so here’s what I say

We’ll keep them marooned in the U.S. of A!!


But hang on a sec; it’s popped out of my mind!

Doc’s creatures are always big hearted and kind.

Perhaps they may not be our own kith and kin,

But they’ll save us I’m sure, from the mess that we’re in!


They can run all the companies, countries and banks

They’ll do a great job and deserve all our thanks.

They’re bound to be better, there’s no need to ask us.

Than the ones we have now, with their really high taxes!


With the Lorex in charge of all forest and land.

He’ll put it back right, oh won’t it be grand!

And Horton can run all the governments too

{The ones we have now will do best in the zoo!}


Dr Seuss will be glad as he floats up above

That his books and his drawings are things that we love.

But let’s not be fooled. What is more to the point.

He made all his creatures for saving the joint!!

That’s his big secret .yes that’s what he meant

Dr Seuss; we all love you one hundred percent!  


© Lyn Charlton

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Worst Scenario Case

Worst Scenario Case.

I was shaving my legs in the bathroom

When visitors decided to come,

I had to stop what I was doing

As a result I only shaved one!


I’m flying out early tomorrow

What’s the worst scenario case,

The plane falls down, out of the sky

There are bodies all over the place!


They pick up all of the pieces

“But these two can’t be a pair,

This ones shaved as smooth as silk

The other ones covered in hair!”


So don’t worry about visitors coming

Make sure that you shave the two,

Don’t fly in a plane with one leg done

If you want both of them buried with you!


© C. M. Beale

Poetry competition entry 2017 : When I Was Young

 When I was young I’d lots of plans

buzzing through my head.

of all the things I‘d do in life….

I had 6 kids instead!


And when the times were really tough

And I ‘d have no time for me

I ‘d ask myself did I do right?

But then I’d look and see.


The special people my kids are.

their honest upright lives.

The pleasure they return to me.

I know that I lived right.


Because you see my kids are not

just my children dear.

There are my friends and counsellors,

my highly valued peers.


They challenge and support me.

Motivate, inspire and cheer.

Yes, they return a hundred fold

The time they took to rear.


Because of all the lessons learnt.

and the huge responsibility

of influencing peoples’ lives.

I’ve grown my own ability!


Nutrition, gardening, children’s play,

education and philosophy.

They’ve challenged me and helped me grow.

Enriched my life tremendously.


And I know they’ll have their influence

That will weave into our history.

Through the people that they meet…

Their own unique biography.


My challenge to my children

And what I need to hear….

Is to remember that relationships

Are the things to hold most dear.


In our modern fast paced world

Where it gets harder to connect.

I believe its family love

We need to work on and protect.


Families are there for us

through all the years we live.

So,treasure well those special ties

that blood and marriage give.


Birthdays and anniversaries

Are important to remember.

But without honesty and the ”little stuff”

We can rent the bonds asunder.


The little stuff of understanding

our differences and our views.

The ”little stuff’ of acceptance

of the way of life we choose.


The little stuff’ of understanding

of each other’s faults and ways.

The ‘little stuff’ of acceptance

if we ever go astray.


Remembering it’s the ‘little stuff

That sends a message loud and clear.

The smile, the hug, the tenderness

We give throughout the year.


With families, we shouldn’t need

To wear our social mask.

And try to pretend were someone else

When its such an onerous task.


With the people that we love

and who know us through and through.

Let’s cultivate a space that’s safe

To be vulnerable and true.


Let’s tend the fire of friendship

with loving energy and concern

Knowing that every fire goes out

when no one fanes the flame.


© Lyn Charlton

Poetry competition entry 2017 : A metaphor for life

A Metaphor for Life

Failure and success

Waves surge and retreat,

Moving over the shingle,

Breaking down, restless to find new meaning,

Seeking to prolong life


Fine shingle meets a grain of sand,

And a single truth emerges

Death is inevitable

The sun sets on Okuru Beach.








© Maureen Scott 2017

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Left to Their Own Devices

‘Left to their own devices’

Child eyes blank

Expressionless faces pale


Swings sit empty

Birds tweet

More than 140 characters

As clouds chase them across the sky.

If you told them to lay in a field of flowers


They would make flower angels on the ground

Anchored by

Earth. The simple smell of nectar

We would all look up

Squinting at bunny shaped clouds


Left to their own devices

They choose screens

Brash, shiny

Alternative reality

Youtubers made famous

For opening blind bags

Shrieking not singing.

Left to their own

De vices…

Vices win

Tell them to

Go outside.


© Vicki Anderson


Poetry competition entry 2017: Roots


I am from

Bob Marley singing

louder than dad’s borrowed lawn mower

that chewed up and spat out

our bit of land in the east.

Saturday afternoon

middle of summer

and I am raised on mud cakes

and electric shocks from the trampoline.

lemon and rusty swingset,

dad built the back deck

but through my eyes it was a shipwreck

and a ‘Lost’ inspired island

my imagination ran as wild

as the weeds I picked and brewed in potions

by the backdoor where mum had built me a shelf

out of two buckets and a plank of wood

for all my concoctions

and I was so proud

I entitled it W.C for Witch Craft

no wonder my sisters entitled me

“The weird one”.

but I embraced it

bare feet, black lace

the sun melts as dad moves on to tearing apart the car

and I’ve dragged my little sister far

enough away from the T.V to join me

in a game of Spy Kids

or tea parties on the washing basket

with lots of sugar and no milk

sitting in our hand-me-down clothing,

surrounded by second hand appliances and motor parts

and the King of the Yard

My dad

this is where I trace back

this is where I’m from

a time when my backyard

wasn’t a junk yard

but a wonderland

and Bob Marley sang

throughout it.


© Moana Jayne


Poetry competition entry 2017: The Great Sacrifice

The Great Sacrifice


Strong and true

From the farm

For honour and duty,

His parents knew,

He would follow their eldest two


From the land at home,

So long a fine keeper,

To fields of fire,

Barbed wire and mire,

Now the grim reaper


Mates new and old,

Brothers’ in arms,

Forever scarred by shells,

A living hell


Those who remain,

At the eleventh hour,

Say their prayers,

For the heroes laid to rest,

Our youthful best


Strong and true

Statues stand

Across our land,

The flags fly free.


© Phillip Scott 2017

Poetry competition entry 2017: Unconditional


I fell in love with the real you, the Angel inside your heart.

The part of you that could do no wrong-Indescribable light of God-sung songs to my soul and quickly we became one.

But too soon the benevolent light stepped aside, knowing darkness was to take its turn, and to its poison I succumbed.

It tore through me, and scattered scars across my heart.

But I fell in love with the real you, the Angel inside your heart, that is who I choose to remember, that sacred soul I loved from the very start.


©  Nikki Collett


Poetry competition entry 2017 : Ode to a Wet Afternoon

Ode to a Wet Afternoon

So here I am, and you have come again
Wet afternoon; and I so welcome you –
You’re timeless, always bringing with you rain,
grey clouds, and heavy skies, no sign of blue.
You wash away the dust and factory fumes.
You cleanse our world of grime and clammy heat.
You always come with water, sometimes thunder
Which beats aloud defiant drummers’ tunes,
with sparks of lightning fireworks can’t beat.
And me? I sit here, I admire, and I wonder.

I wonder how you know when you are needed.
You disregard the seasons, time or place,
weather forecasts people have not heeded.
But here I am, admiring what I face.
I sit here by my window, looking out
and listening to the sounds of you, at work,
refreshing all that grows out in the gully.
If I peer down, I see our water spout
gushing with your rain into the dirt
and mixing, making everything muddy.

I raise my eyes, and look across the space
and over there are flecks of gleaming gold –
You’ve washed the gorse and broom flowers’ faces,
as to your shower their heads they turn and hold.
Down my slope, ponga, pu-riri leaves now shine
like emerald, newly freshened where they grow.
They are the brightest green I’ve ever seen.
So thank you for this view, it’s only mine.
You’ve helped them to display their greatest show.
My heart is full of love for this, your scene.

The traffic sounds are muffled by the air
and by the music of your welcome rain
carried by the heavy clouds you bear,
tap-tapping on my open window pane.
Through the open window comes the song
of tuis, who have come to nectar sweet.
Wings they flutter, and they chuckle, sing.
You know this is the place they do belong.
here in this open space where they can eat
their fill, and mate and nest, and spread their wings.

And I? Again, I thank you – just for this…
A wet afternoon, some quiet, time for peace.
My spirit soars to feel such luscious bliss.
I wish this afternoon could never cease.
You take a rest, let sun beams break through clouds.
Sparkling di’monds from the rain drops shine
in manuka. See the show of shining stars of white?
Your work is done. You leave – but do be proud
of this gift you’ve offered. Its memory, mine.
And I shall dream of it for many nights.


©   Lynne McAennyl

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Telephone Wires

Telephone wires

As we drove on the telephone wires made waves ahead

each thunderous clap of the ocean taking us further away from those left behind…

today we are going someplace, we are wanderers.


© A.N. Ellerton