View from the summit of an Island named after an extinct bird by Mariana Valentine

Bird of Prayer – Hone Tuwhare


A circus of beauty

streaks across sunset

luminous wings

cresting the curve

of Sugarloaf

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!

slips unhindered

       from my lips

& air

   flowing in freely

they say     the heart is a muscle

to strengthen

with oxygen

  a gift

and a promise

Sky dancing by Mariana Valentine 


Cusp by Mary Cresswell

all the driftwood
is piled up
prepared to float
perhaps elsewhere

walk carefully
to the incoming tide

yesterday floats
on parts of today
back and forth lapping
each other
now you have
walked far enough

look out
see the different shoreline
boundaries never
raised before
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.
ooShe obliges.



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.’

Photo by Gregory Dally


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

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.