Aotearoa, October 2022

A collaboration of poetry (Heraskina) and oil painting (Foster)

Anna and Alexander first met in June 2020, two souls searching for a connection in the uncertainty of our Covid world. Together they began their shared project ‘Across Oceans’, to bridge the divide across distance and time. Each week Anna would write a poem and Alex would create an illustration inspired by the poem.Over the course of two years together, they would create more than 50 poems and illustrations, three paintings and they would meet and marry in October 2021 in Europe.

In March 2022, with war raging in Ukraine, Anna would travel across her country and then to her new home and new life in New Zealand in April.

Together they continue their artistic and personal journey.

Found, oil on canvas by Alexander Foster
Denial of Impossibility: the poem and the art

What is poetry?
Denial of impossibility
Fish and bird conversation
Flashes outside the train window
It is between the pillow and the morning
Between detachment and belonging
Foresight and forefeeling
It is like love –
Not everyone is given

But I
Will teach you

Denial of Impossibility, oil on canvas by Alexander Foster
Two poems, untitled

They say
He drowned.
After all, his heart was stone
After all, his life was heavy
…And his nerves of steel
…And his will of iron
Nobody saw him crying
So, when he did
He drowned.


I met her watching the waves
What if I’m forever alone
I’ve asked
What if summer bliss is replaced by tart autumn
What if my husband dies from an arrow
If my blue-eyed son says I’m a stepmother
If I paint a white bird with charcoal
If the sun sets in the east
In the desert lands lies down
Drifts off to sleep

She took my hand in hers
Tender and hot
She said
Don’t worry
I’ll never leave you
I’m here

My little pain
My little pain


Anna Heraskina Foster is a Ukrainian-born poet and author currently living in Auckland. Her work has been published in The New Review (NY), SHO (Kyiv) and SNOB (Moscow). She has been a participant and winner of competitions at literary festivals such as the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (Bali), Pushkin in Britain,Kyiv Laurels and many others.

Alexander Foster is a visual artist living in Auckland, working with oil paintings and illustration. His focus in art is on creating visual stories that evoke and interpret mood, sense, time and place. Together, Anna and Alexander are working on a collaborative project of poetry and painting ‘Across Oceans’. Find them on Instagram.