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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

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Joy in Thoughts Black on White

Joy in Thoughts Black On White 

William James saw the mind as a black box.

Mother said my mind was filled with wind socks.

Who was right? Open sesame, knock knock.


Oh, look, thoughts black and white

those of certainty posing as right

and those floating around, just might

lack substance in the day, but at night

form shadows, unearthing grave fright.


Mind traveller, that’s me in my head campsite

eating brown bread, cheese and marmite

thinking of taking a break. They call it respite.

Curiosity the friend of my head invites

thoughts of joy and understanding, seeing the light

from unravelling synapses for neurons to take flight.


I need a break, this is doing in my head home site

making a thought list lacking eloquent bite.

What could I expect from thoughts ghost like,

maybe a big can with words inscribed, dynamite.

Now that would be finite.


Mother with her look of frostbite

would put out the fire of my appetite

and suggest I be more polite

with those matches. Made the cat rewrite

the direction it was going. Took to the air like

a kite.


William James, philosopher, psychologist, physician

looking in black boxes doing some fishing

would probably agree, something was missing

in my black box of wind socks. He died 1910 reminiscing.


© John Priest


‘It’ is coming…

When I was 22, I read my first Stephen King book. The title was “It”.  And it absolutely terrified me. I remember reading late into the night in a desperate race to reach the end, as surely the characters would triumph and it would be OK?  Because it certainly wasn’t OK at the bit I was up to!  By the end I was apprehensive about drains and plug holes, dubious about clowns, and never wanted to read a King book again (but I did). I was also disappointed in the ending, which didn’t seem to reach the climatic conclusion I was expecting.

Anyway, as the new ‘It’ movie is releasing later in 2017, I thought I would re-read ‘It’.  So I girded my loins, stopped up the plug holes and dove in.  And you know what? It didn’t scare me at all. In fact, I saw it in a completely different light, re-reading it over 20 years later.

Not being petrified allowed me to appreciate the skilful writing of the author.  The characters burst into life with greater complexity, and I could imagine the story more fully because it wasn’t blurred by a layer of fear.  And most surprisingly, the parts of the story that I remembered the most – such as blood spurting up out of the bathroom sink – didn’t make so much of an impression.  On second read, the horror scenes are a side-effect of Pennywise, the representation of evil, and the storyline really is more about facing fear and defeating evil with love.

I can’t believe that I didn’t recall so many dramatic and pivotal scenes, such as the 12-year-old female character choosing to lose her virginity with each of her five young male friends to cement their friendship, or a young boy’s arm being ripped off.  Or the extreme elements of bullying, abuse, prejudice and racism that permeate the whole novel.  And that Pennywise the Clown is some sort of metaphysical being that feeds on fear and manifests as it chooses in a way to maximise that, and has been around for millenia.

Being curious, I also rented the original ‘It’ mini-series, which might have been scary back in the day, but now felt woefully inadequate. Many scenes from the book were cut, or slightly altered, which in my opinion did not advance the story.  Although the acting was fine, especially Tim Curry as It, in my opinion it didn’t do the book justice. But then, as a librarian, maybe I’m biased!  Fortunately, the new movie has been split into two – the first part focuses on the characters as children and their experience with It ; the second part will focus on the characters as adults facing It once again.

I’m still not sure that I understand the deeper meaning of the novel, but at least I now realise that there is one. And whether you’re experiencing it first as a horror story, or as a novel reflecting on the nature of evil and the power of love, it’s still a really good read either way.  Read It … if you’re brave enough. Dare you.



Addendum:  I have now seen the 2017 version of IT, and it has my approval.  Personally, I found IT to be not quite as malevolent as I’d hoped, but better than Tim Curry’s version. The child actors did a great job, and it was magnificently cast. Although, as an adaptation, there were a few things changed (e.g. no werewolf or bird), on the whole the script did justice to Kings tale, I feel.

Poetry competition entry 2017 : Racism


© Anthony Guest

Poetry competition entry 2017: Forest Fungi

Forest fungi

I amble

through the forest

inhaling kauri and kawakawa,

brushing fingers with


when my nostrils alert me

to mushrooms –

that concoction

of dank earth

and fungus.

I recall my first bite,

the assault

on my tastebuds –



and acrid, like



I see

repugnant gills


under domed caps,

amanita phalloides

lurking in deadly disguise


(standing motionless

they pose

as the




Spurred on

by the stench

of deceit,

my wellied foot rises.

Smoosh! Mush! Crush!

Eradicate all fungi!

But, nature resists –

dispersed spores


their forest floor.


© Amy Phillips

Tararua District Library Annual Trivia Quiz 2017

Calling all Trivia buffs – our 9th annual Trivia Quiz is

on 6th September 2017, 6.30pm.

Team “The Four Horsemen of the Potato Chips” (Dannevirke) hold the trophy for this hotly contested event.

The 4 Horsemen of the Potato Chips

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 “Bad Family Portraits”. Prizes for:

District Champion

Highest score per town

Best fancy dress

Spot prizes

Light refreshments provided.

Join in the fun!

Get your team together and register/pay by 5.30pm Friday 2nd September. Receipts available on request.

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

PRINT THE ENTRY FORM HERE :   Entry Form Adult Quiz 2017


And the winners for 2017 were The Four Horsemen of the Potato Chip again

Trivia Quiz 2017 Photos


How a cat called Bob changed a homeless addict’s life….

This is such a heart warming story which is actually true, making it even more special.

James Bowen is a recovering addict trying to re-build his life.  Living on the streets, busking for food, he overdoses and is fortunate that his sponsor pushes to get him into sheltered accommodation.  A street cat creeps through his window and changes his life.  If angels exist, then I am convinced after watching this that Bob, the cat, is an angel.

A must for young adults and adults alike to watch (PG).  The movie is based on the book of which we have several in our collection:

  • A street cat named Bob/Bowen, James
  • The world according to Bob : the further adventures of one man and his street-wise cat/Bowen, James
  • Bob : no ordinary cat/Bowen, James
  • A gift from Bob/Bowen, James

I rate this film 10/10.  Truly inspiring, and sure to please whether you are a cat lover or not!


Poetry competition entry 2017: For the love of music


A long slender neck

With a copious body

Bulging at the sides

Contours on the flanks


A long slender neck

Topped with a handcrafted head

Sparking hardware

Lining one side

Bands of steel

Hover over abalone

Mother of Pearl

And stainless rows


Massaged by fingertips

Along a slender neck

Strings screaming ballad

For tuned ears


Arpeggiating melody

And symphony

Ears are pricked

A tender lullaby voiced


A passion is the fuel

Fingers move intentionally

But without the discipline

A log of sound-wood rots.


© Hayden Macdonald