Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The last day of May
and the end of autumn.

It has been the warmest May on record
in Aotearoa - New Zealand.

Warm and wild
with tornadoes
and earthquakes and floods.

Here in Hamilton
'where hardly anything ever happens'
it was mostly sunny or a lovely big rain
and the countryside around is still lush and green
from the warmth and wet
and crazily spring flowers have bloomed.

This afternoon I walked to visit an old friend
who rang to tell me he is dying.

It was a beautiful afternoon,
balmy and warm.

We walked in his garden.
I admired his 'last broccoli' that he expects not to eat.

We sat and reminisced
and he enchanted me with stories of his young days
and his last trip.. to New York.

Still making plans,
he told me about a painting he has comissioned ..
a metaphor of his life,
and where it will hang.

Still greatly living to the end and doing this dying thing
with such elegance, everything in order.

How wonderful to talk together so easily about dying.

I walked home feeling a deep peace.
It was a visit I will hold in my heart forever.
A gift from an old friend.

The words of Gandi kept echoing in my mind..

'When I go to sleep, I die.
When I awake, I am reborn.'

How wonderful it is when the circle gently closes
in peace.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh what a wonderful world..

How is it that the small roots from the tree

can keep pushing, pushing until the
footpath is wrecked.

How come, after a little spell of cooler weather
followed by some warm sunny days

the spring flowers begin to bloom
in autumn.

Why does green algae suddenly grow
in the lake waters,

turning the lake surface into fake Italian marble.

Who designed the shape of leaves...

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The rains have gone..

My early morning walk around the lake
was perfect.
The sun shone and the air after the rain
was fresh and tingly.

The grass was wet with millions of
tiny orbs of precious water..

and the ducks were decidedly content
dabbling in the puddles.

In the peace of the bush grove I made a tiny altar
for my long time friend
who has been given the diagnosis we all fear
as grow into our latter years.

I promise to be always there for you
my dear, dear friend.
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 what are these flowers?

we call them Red Hot Pokers..

or Torch Flowers.
Originally from South Africa I think.
Thank you for asking Teresa Evangeline.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Rain often makes me think of you Hone..

I love Hone's earthy poetry.  In this clip, an older Hone is being introduced to a new CD of his poems turned into songs by some of NZ's best musos. The first sounds are of the music written for his poem Rain.
Many years ago, when I was young and naive, I taught with Hone's wife Jean.  I said to her once how romantic it was to be married to a poet.  She looked me in the eye, then said  - it isn't all it's cracked up to be - or something to that effect - in her soft and lilting Scottish accent.
It didn't change my opinion though.   Her house guests included people like James K Baxter, and once she brought to school a painting given to her as a thank you for hospitality by Ralph Hotere.  It was shiny and black, heavily lacquered, with a perfect, thin red circle.  I can see myself in it I said.  Maybe that's what it means said Jean. 
Sometime later Hone went his way.  I hope Jean kept her Hotere painting.  A Hotere is worth a lot of money these days.

Thursday, May 26, 2011



I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

the steady
drum-roll sound
you make
when the wind drops

But if I
should not hear

or see you

you would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me

Hone Tuwhare 1922-2008

A Rainy Day..

Official winter is only days away.

It was still dark when I woke yesterday morning
and I was surprised that I had slept soundly until 7am.

That's how life is when one lives by the sun and the seasons
instead of clocks.

The sky was a startling red..

'Red sky in the morning,
shepherds take warning.'

Rain is coming.

Some good  city council goblins were out and about in the pre-dawn dark
preparing for a big rain
by sweeping leaves from the gutters.

Slowly the sky lightened
and the pesky wind blew all the leaves right back into the gutters.

Today it has rained and rained and washed the leaves down to the bottom of the street,
causing a very big puddle to form.

Today I went to the Requiem Mass of a friend's husband.
A poet and academic of some standing..

and the tupuna, the ancestors, cried their rain tears for this fallen totara.
Arohanui, Mary.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ask and you'll receive...

The warm, damp weather this autumn has meant lots of mushrooms and toadstools
on lawns and along the grass verges in our street.

I cannot resist taking photos of magical fungi.

I have been saying
what I really want to see is a fairy ring .

As children we often saw fairy rings
and truly believed it was where the fairies had danced in the moonlight.

This morning..
there it was
on the grass verge by my house ..

looking like the fallen leaves,
a real fairy ring of toadstools!

"Like elves and fairies in a ring"

Hecate.  Shakespeare

"And nightly, meadow fairies, look, you sing;
Like to the garter's compass, in a ring;"

The Merry Wives of Windsor. Shakespeare.

Oh yes, I know about magic mycelium threads that spread below ground
and how the mushrooms grow,

but I much prefer to think of this wonderful ring that appeared overnight
as the door into the fairies' world.

Should I step inside the ring?

It is said the ring can transport people to other places
or have them appear in the same place in a different time..

if I am not here beyond today

it may well be
I stepped within the round and made a special wish for you...
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Terrifying Tornados..

Love and prayers
Joplin and the people of the Midwestern States Of America
from New Zealand..

our thoughts are with you
that all our blogging friends are safe..
Kia kaha!
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a song for crazy mabel...

oh crazy mabel
you crazy crazy crone

going even crazier living all alone

tie up your sanity
put it in a jar
in the back of the cupboard
hide it
far far far

and rising on your besum broom
fly around the earth
wind in your thinning hair

fly for all you're worth

fly over the green hills
fly over the sea

fly fly fly
crazy mabel
and me

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ahhhr.... r is for rapture...

                                                     So glorious a day today.

I took a walk

through the gardens of our city

full of colour

and form

and a journey of such peace

and tranquility

and beauty.

Reflections in quiet pools.
The mellowness of autumn almost spent..

is for rapture
in silence
is for recognition
of the sacred
in the ordinary - ness
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


There is something precious about stitching.
Taking a needle and thread and creating or mending.

There is that element of small danger ..
of pricking fingers
and drawing blood even.

There is something ancient and primal about stitching.
The patterns and skills
handed down from woman to woman.

A gift that has stitching is a precious thing.
One of a kind.
Unique to both giver and the recipient.
Even when the gift is used and worn
it is treasured and kept
because how could it be thrown away.

To me stitching is a meditation,
a way of praying.

When a friend is troubled or ill..
I find myself stitching.

It is mindfulness and loving
with every stitch.

Other than that I cannot explain
what stitching
means to me.

I have been taking Spirit Cloth's online classes to learn weaving with fabric.  I am loving working this way with leftover pieces of fabric in my small stash.  A very meditative thing to do.  Thank you Jude Hill.
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Monday, May 16, 2011


i wake in the early morning
i glance at my bedside clock/radio

 i turn on the radio
in the dark
just as some West Indian writer says

poets often don't wear watches

i haven't worn a watch for four years or more

my watch
small and gold

 i began to wear his watch
large and gold
and it brought
his memory close

then one day
it stopped

i placed it in the drawer with mine
and left
chronos time
to itself

but the world is full of clocks

my car clock flicks time
and the clock in the mall
is large and clear
above the walking heads

i have come to prefer
to notice where the sun sits in the sky

and when the birds sing

and kairos time settles in my soul

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Friday, May 13, 2011

A mellow day..

A soft fog in the early morning
and the city is nothing but a distant hum.
 I could be living in some enchanted place.

The day comes soft in autumn light and falling leaves
and gentle birds

and this enchanted place of mine
crazily has flowers of spring
as well as autumn hue.

No wonder a chair that could be
for some enchanted garden
in my dreamy doodle
idly sketched
at the peaceful close
of a very
mellow day.
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