My poetry has been published in literary and online journals in New Zealand and Australia. My most recent outings are:
Poetry New Zealand Yearbook (The Friend)
The Spin Off ( Palaces, Feb 2017)
Landfall May 2016 (Inward, see below)
The Unexpected Greeness of Trees (anthology)
Poetry New Zealand (November 2015)
Contrapasso (Issue 8, April 2015)
Te Ika (MIT 2014)
Landfall 227 Vital Signs issue (2014)
Sport 42 (2014) including the poem Y as X (see below)
My poem Defence of the Leaf was highly commended in the 2014 Caselburg competition.
Landfall 226 Heaven and Hell issue (pub Nov 2013) (Exit)
Transnational Review (May 2013, pub Flinders University, Australia) (Notes about what I meant See below)
Here’s a link to three poems published in the online journal Trout.
Hue and Cry (2012) published my poem, Litter. This work is also featured as Janis Freegard’s Tuesday poem on her blog.
My poem Bees also appeared in JAAM 30 (December 2012).
The photographic trips I make around the country sometimes lead to poems as does my interest in photographic books. Examples of this type of work can be found in Sport 35 and 36 –
My work can also be found in Millionaire’s Shortbread a joint poetry collection published by OUP (2003) and a chapbook called The Inland Eye (Pemmican Press).
This is my page on the New Zealand Book Council site –
To return to the blog, click here.
Y as X
When Y writes as X she thinks she should write sentences
like jabs in a boxing match, but pulled at the last minute
by a sudden funniness. How does he do that? She looks
at X’s writing and sees his sentences are often shockingly
short. X would never write a word like ‘disbenefit’, then
in a long parenthesis explain that, surprisingly, the word
does exist and how X (writing as Y) feels embarrassed
she didn’t know, and that the person who used the word
had a blocky confidence they would rise in the organisation,
so took words from the course rather than older ones
with their shabby disadvantages and how this upsets Y (X as Y)
in ways she can’t explain. Close parenthesis.
When X sees Y’s attempts to write as him, he’s startled
by the bluntness of the text. He’s become an alarmingly
savage person. Put in ‘please’ there and there, he tells Y.
And thank her. End by thanking her.
(Janet Paul exhibition, Turnbull Library gallery)
The small room quivers
with the scissored blue knowledge
of your eyes, kindly
dragging the scene askew – coffeepot,
cows and lipstick flowers
teeter. The poet called it god speaking
through us your fast river
of celebratory decoration, land,
and eyes reflecting inward.
In seconds, breathing moistly on the glass –
lives on our backs, property elsewhere –
we riffle through jewels,
our turbulence inchoate
Notes about what I meant
What I meant to say about the light was that
we loved it, then it changed. Taking the world
Daylight unfurled and our seeing – anything –
We hunted light up and down the island.
Sometimes, I thought we chased an idea of the softest
clearest light – a spring you’d find, high in the hills,
after days of walking. But, at precise times,
depending on clouds, it draped itself across roofs
and buildings like a golden cat – colours deep,
ridges in silhouette – five minutes only, before we
headed for a blinding, bleached midday. If we’d known
the principles at work, we could’ve been butchers
The new optician had a different chart. The test
was to read underlined phrases through lenses
that changed like funfair mirrors. I was to say
how hard/easy they were – except for one
in tiny type that said
Once, anxious about a sky with noisy pixels, I asked A.
about the problem. He explained how a lens sees differently
to our eyes. If I were a bird, or cat, how many colours
would there be?
We rose at six to catch the early early light, its cold
wave splashing over the land, then staining
with the sun’s gold. The optician said the cells
in our eyes are the ones we’re born with – the only
ones that don’t renew. He placed a lens in front of
my right eye/left eye. “How does that look?
“Never get used to this”, begins a poem by Derek
Walcott, referring to another subject entirely.
We threw out maps of places we’d been
and asked the sky whether this was the weather
we’d heard of
and where was the light?
After my new prescription for sight, I wrote down
the test –
the tall weeds
a landscape of snow