View from the summit of an Island named after an extinct bird by Mariana Valentine
A circus of beauty
streaks across sunset
cresting the curve
two kāhu are calling
calling as they helix
high into Sky
they intertwine like fibres
of a long fishing line
like the invisible
umbilical that binds us
to everything : Life!
from my lips
flowing in freely
they say the heart is a muscle
and a promise
Cusp by Mary Cresswell
all the driftwood
is piled up
prepared to float
to the incoming tide
on parts of today
back and forth lapping
now you have
walked far enough
see the different shoreline
shaping up for
Their Lightest of Times by Gregory Dally
It’s a lovely moment for her.
To think that he’s employed it
ookissing along a pie
oolike a musician adoring his harmonica.
An enamoured mouth can style a tune
to emulate the dulcet, absorbing her ears.
ooHis gulps ask for the shading of her giggle.
Existentialists must all exist;
yet these two seem unreal, despite the logic
oothat underpins their theories.
ooAre they actually there?
‘Shush’ urges them to lie, prone on the camber,
immersed in epic images from a singer.
ooA shepherd is God’s exemplar, zorbing freely
ootowards the Kawarau; and Uncle Ray from the Kinks,
at his finest in love and lyrics, acquires majesty
in thanking someone special for their days.
ooHer guy has already included her
ooin the songbook of his dreams. They’ll manage.
The yokel’s bubble has launched into the river.
Distanced? He’s quartered under a grin, surfing on clover.
ooOctagonal in limbs across each other
ooon matagouri–yes, that’s the ticket.
At home all over the face he’s opened,
she’s thinking, “Is that a smile or a haven?”
ooAnd could there be a letter missing
ooin the noun on which she’s musing? Is his grin Heaven?
Their currency mints superlatives.
Hyperbole often leaves the fragmented closer.
ooLaughter adds value that keeps them at ease
ooin a state the hopeful call ‘together.’
A list of everything happening by Danielle Todd
Something is happening
And everything is as it appears.
I have counted each dust mound accumulating
in the bars of your bathroom radiator.
I have taken the potatoes out of their plastic net
after the weekly shop.
I still have not found the switch to the dining room lamps,
and I keep forgetting to ask you.
I have gingerly placed a birds nest
on one of the small shelves in the porch.
I have seen a pink moon with you. It was pink
because it knelt so close to our world.
Each day I sit aside as the rapeseed fields embolden in burning columns
with little room for deviation, aside from our two bodies,
stretching limbs to distraction on the knoll.
There’s nothing for my sore head, far off in its distant country,
that I cure with bluer skies.
There’s nothing besides the fingers of sunlight that I firmly untwine from mine
in the middle of the day.
There’s nothing but the world beside my head,
pacing time with each low rising breath.
Mary Cresswell’s Body Politic (The Cuba Press, 2020) ) is a collection of nature poems for nature in crisis. She lives on the Kāpiti Coast and writes book reviews and poems. See also https://www.read-nz.org/writer/cresswell-mary/
Gregory Dally has had poetry, fiction and other material published in various journals, including Catalyst, Popshot Quarterly, takahē and Te Kōrero Ahi Kā, the SFFH anthology from SpecFicNZ.
He uri tēnei nō Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu. Miriama Gemmell’s poetry has been published in Te Whē, Landfall, Wasafiri Magazine, Sweet Mammalian and other places. She washes yoghurt pots and feels closer to her tīpuna. Miriama lives in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara with her hoa rangatira, Richard, and two tamariki, James Rewi (6) and Hana Tirohia (4).
Danielle Todd is a poet and short story writer from New Zealand. Her work has appeared in titles such as A Fine Line (NZ Poetry Society), Oscen, Join the Dots and Little Stone Journal, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Sargeson Prize. She is currently working on her first poetry collection.
Mariana Valentine is a poet, forager, and artist, living in Ōtautahi/Christchurch. You can find her here.