Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Colour was a location etched on her face -
culture to be seen, not heard
- not a choice.

But oh, 
her woven stories were known
beyond he mountains.
Rumbles reverberated through
the cracks of the earth
     raising life from soil
     releasing breaths from roots
that carried to the circumference of Rā's fervor;
Papatūānuku echoing Ranginui's lost embrace.  

Published in 'Blackmail Press' - March 2017

Monday, 1 May 2017

Trailing Through Tāmaki Makaurau

  1.     Images of a pixel galaxy
    glide across the underbelly of Stardome.
    Collective retinas dot-to-dot constellations.
    We pulse neon in the womb of genesis.

  1.     IMAX movie magic
    projects 3-D lips through darkness,
    past the row of popcorn kids
    to surround sound me a kiss.

  1.     Western Springs gangster geese
    waddle their feathered rumps to encircle tourists;
    hustling for bread – standard fees demanded
    for click-click-click of Nikons.

  1.     Chevalier, your waters tremor beautiful
    under the moon and the sun.
    When I dive beneath your skin-deep
    I dissolve into ballerina ocean.

  1.     At one end of Long Bay
    stands a cliff engraved with white noise
    that blares in the barnacle ears
    of hacked rock whales.

  1.     Bark-skin of fat octopus limbs
    spew from Albert Park’s dank incense earth.
    Feels like wooden elephants;
    smells like Papatūānuku giving birth.

  1.     Swollen dancer extends a butterfly greeting --
    temptation at Botanic Gardens.
    Beware of efflorescent thorns in fluorescent fields
    when the sun sets at Eve.

  1.     A crucifix of tubular lights
    carried up Mount Roskill by orange vest workers;
    Auckland Council Christianity
    burns noughts and crosses confessions.

  1.     An army of miniature green blades
    stand at attention in my backyard.
    A neighbour visits in his wheelchair.
    His feet do not bleed.

Chipped China

How can Brian -
the street bully -
be this delicate giant?

Eleven-year-old Tumema
peered through the slits
of the wooden slats
under Brian's house.

The same thick fingers
that dragged her by the hair
across the school field

nimbly raised a china cup
to the porcelain doll's
love-heart lips.

Published in 'Blackmail Press' - March 2017

NZ Best Poems 2017


Jesus died this morning

in a nameless alleyway
hunched between an
ex-jailbird and a homeless girl.

I saw him last night  
    tickling the feet of fa’afafine
    with his bearded kisses.
I heard him last night
    laughing with hardened Magdalenas
    over plastic cups of street brew.
I felt him last night
    lick sanction across the punctured
    creases of my inner elbows.

You missed him –
the Second Coming has come and gone.

    You were too preoccupied
scouring penthouse suites in trump hotels
    singing psalms to molesting podiums
tasting bleach from make-it-rain teeth
    and stroking feathers of corrupt wings.

    Did you not learn from his first visitation
that he would come as One
of the wandering and uncrowned?

    Did you not learn from his first stopover
that Sinner and Saviour
walk shoeless side by side
along bleeding crossroads?

Jesus died this morning

in a nameless alleyway
beneath your feet

while your noses pointed to the skies.  

Published by 'Blackmail Press' - March 2017

Friday, 9 December 2016

Benedict Brunch

Stabbed sunrise
hemorrhages yolk
to dying sunset
salmon pinstripe veins
scrawled into
craters of a muffin moon .

Tarawera erupts pepper ashes
bomb Pollock hues
of fire lakes and liquid flames
spill across ghostly rocket trees -

Nature competes with Herself
on my plate.

Colonised Aladdin Lamp
grants Earl Tea and milking maids.
Sweetened with manuka cubes
mined from Pharoah’s resting place.

An eye-glass on a microphone stand

sings for its number 24.


You Adams
I was never your sundown at Eve.
Your patriarchal ribs
built the cage in my chest
but the drumming of my heartbeat
was always to my own anthem.

You God
I was never your fallen.
Your old testaments
had no cause to be
carved as stone prophecies
into the wells of my palms.

You Demons
I was never your battlefield.
So I lay down sword and shield
and kneel within the circle
of your Legion
with open arms and spirit. 

For I belong whole.
I belong precious.
I belong living.
I belong.

Moving Still

We dizzy ourselves sick
on the wheels of calamity
spin after spin after spin
we glutton our addiction to suffering.
We were brainwashed to believe
salvation explodes only from chaos
- Beauty splattered from Bing Bang.

However, I have found
perpetual struggle only grows
heart into stone
from which I cannot
taste the colours of this land
or hear the contractions of my pulse
or see words dance into voice
or smell the sizzle of spitfire passion
or feel the dawn of belonging

just a lump of jagged motionless
in a meadow of surrounding sighs.

Translated into Spanish online at 'Circulo De Poesia' - Sep 2016