“Greenpop Raindrops”

An old log lies rotting in
damp green glades which
invade the fallen sentinel,
breaking through her bark.

But this is no sad story,
as the wet wood gets
smashed by spades and
splintered mulch feeds
thousands of new trees planted
by hippies and treehuggers
trying to rebuild forests
lost to blind greed and
the Age of Plastic Things.

The Eastern Cape Monarch,
ancient ruler of this realm,
slowly turns to watch
while waterfalls whisper
misty encouragement;
the Madonna and Child
brought to life in
falling sheets of light,
dancing rainbows which
play in the cool forest,
turning raindrops green
as they shock the skin,
pinpricks of nature
sent to remind us
of our heritage as
trees begin to grow
and the fallen log
disintegrates further.

Life cycles forever on
and we must play each part;
planted tree and fallen log,
dancing in the darkness
while stormclouds gather
and the Earth begins to breathe.

“Homeless”

Like a moth to flame she burns
for open spaces, unwritten hope
of a journey on the open road.
Night after night she returns,
wind rushing through her hair
so that she wakes unkempt
from an other imagined world,
stretching into grim reality
as a grey day dawns
and the street returns to life.

People look at her as they pass,
windswept dreamer
in an old and tattered coat,
but they do not see her
do not know she seeks the waking life,
gazing into the flickering fire
in the hope of glimpsing eternity
as the flame flutters and falters
before rearing its golden head
in a last, defiant roar.

Battered and broken
by endless fire-dives
finally she gives up,
lets go,
while all the people pass
silently clinging in terror
to their certain lives.
But not the dreamer,
stretched across a park bench
on a cold winter’s morning:
she lets the flame in,
fuses with the light and
is lost forever to
simple air and heat,
an empty space and point of light
in a dark and barren room.

The dreamer’s dream
of love and life
fuels the flame once more
and on it burns
and on she burns
both forever bright.

“Te Tapu-nui” (Mountain of Intense Sacredness)

He walked into the woods
to gather up a poem,
drawing rhythm from the
melodies of a gurgling stream
running its ice-cold course
across paths and pine needles
passing beneath his feet;
from the wagtail’s call
chiming through quiet trees –
nature’s bell to mark the passing
of no time at all;
from breathless gasps
steaming out his lungs to the
rhythm of a beating heart,
matching tune of the wilderness;
from the silence of a frozen pool,
solid ice reflecting the view
of dramatic mountains and a
sky-blue lake supplied by snow.

It is a story of the journey
upward to a place within
beautiful enough to match
the white-crowned mountains
and mirror lakes,
a place as wild and unkempt
as the forgotten goat paths
to abandoned cabins
where once we panned for gold,
pulling nuggets out the stream
before descending back to town
bearing riches in our packs,
wrought of hard work and
solitude.

That is his story, his world,
out there in the mystic wilds
of his own heart where
streams of blood flow in time
with the bird call’s of his mind,
and the quiet trees are always green.
There he chooses to walk
wandering hitchhiker,
no phone, no pets, no cigarettes,
looking to unmask the false being within,
the person made to match the
thoughts and feelings and laws
of other men, no better than himself,
nor any worse.

Leave him to it,
aesthetic voyager of the heart.
Let him have his world
and be done with it,
to perish or prosper in lonely grandeur,
far from the company of men
and yet always in sight
if only they’d look up, look harder
at the background of their photos,
to see those silent stony cliffs
which hear the last confessions
of every soul that leaves this life,
ascending for the final time
up the snow-capped alps
and into blue eternity,
far above the clouds.

*I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in some time. I am travelling around New Zealand’s South Island and having the time of my life away from the internet and anything online. I will return in a few weeks again. Until then, keep smiling!

“Do You Like It Here?”

As I take the long road

running

far away from home

learning

how to ask for help

and what a friend really is,

people always ask me

“Do you like it here?”

 

“That’s a strange question”

I want to say,

“I am always here

wherever I wander,

so if I love myself

I like it ‘here’,

if I live this moment

I like it ’here’”.

 

I know they mean this country

of rolling hills and rainbows

and I do like it,

there’s good and bad,

rich and poor,

rain and sunshine

just like any other,

all of them different.

 

But I want to tell them

I love it here because

‘here’ is the only eternity

we will ever know,

the still point in a spinning world

of passing moments,

eternities lived and lost

to aging memory.

 

Like a mystic returning from

the forest bearing gold,

it turns to ashes in my hands

and people nod politely

before a brief silence and

a safer conversation.

I’m probably drunk anyway,

champagne must’ve gone to my head.

 

And that’s ok too,

you can’t rescue anyone,

let alone your punch-drunk self,

so I pour another glass

and settle in to listen

to their safe words

and muted truths,

every one as worthy as my own.

“Big City Nights”

“They also serve who only stand and wait”

— John Milton

 

What was strange

soon becomes familiar.

Stations with visions of love

are now just places that

I’d rather not waste life in,

waiting for the next late bus

delayed by incessant traffic.

 

I feel fueled by

a need for the new,

a desire to be different,

driven by a hybrid city

with all the neon lights pleading

for attention or just a mention

along Queens Street.

 

It is a feverish view.

Ours is a feverish age.

The city shifts and moves

sweating as the Earth’s fire

bursts from its cage

to power the neon boards

blinking at the night.

 

Yet I look at it the same,

a glaze of recognition,

feeling too familiar.

So I stand still

and watch

and wait

for the city to come alive.

“May One”

“And edit the unsent letters of my life into a one word statement: Yes”

— Shane Koyczan

 

A Saudi-Arabian I live with,

using a digital dictionary,

asked what the difference is

between hope, wish and dream.

I tried to explain but was stumped

when he asked where ‘would’ fit…

 

I asked a German girl

if I could kiss her.

She held my gaze

and answered:

‘maybe’

then tilted her head…

 

An American spoke

of a boy he loved

who taught him to

think like a citizen

lest there was no-one

left to speak at all…

 

To tell the stories of what

can be done with will,

stories of hopes wished

in the language of dreams;

the different dialects

describing possibility…

 

So this is my mayday call to

all the would’ves could’ves

should’ves left undone,

to all the might’ves

and maybes of life which

leave your heart pounding…

“Rainy Days”

There’s a certain slant of light

that breaks the wistful

gloom of Wellington

on a windy Autumn day

and illuminates a book

on love and beauty,

casting playful shadows

over the lined pages as

trees dance to the

gusts of words blown

over whole continents

by the miracle of writing,

reaching from her

to me to you

in the time it takes

for another cloud to climb

the mountains to my left

and obscure the sun again:

constant blue skies would

also bore us to tears.

“On Journeys”

I’ve spent days travelling to

beautiful places, holy mountains,

looking for sacred thoughts

to cleanse my poetry

like the crystal spring

gurgling rapidly over river rocks

left strewn by the ages.

I have found nothing.

 

Nothing to convince you

to read my words,

to convince critics that

this is actually poetry,

to convince myself that

I might one day make it

in a web which has already

caught too much truth.

 

But it only takes a moment

of quiet reflection to realise

that everyone from Plutarch

to Seneca to Milton to Thoreau

to the cheap modern gurus of

actualisation and mindfulness

knows that it is really the

journey inwards which counts.

 

For it is there where we

find the magic to change

our world with words.

I am happy with a little

node of this chaotic net,

finding it to be a road leading

me nowhere in particular,

everywhere at once.

“What is Good Poetry?”

Is it using words which rhyme,

or equally-footed lines?

Is it subscribing to form

or breaking from the norm?

Is it grand and noble thought

from experience dearly bought?

Is it the clever use of iambs

so people know we once were?

 

Or is it the curling wave,

the butterfly’s wing,

the stolen kiss and

the faces we miss?

A frosty morning passed

mending a neighbour’s wall

or travelling the unworn path,

hoping, praying not to fall?

 

I do not know,

but this morning I woke

in a town which the sun

rises on first in the world,

watching the clouds part

as the Eastern sky lit up.

What does poetry say other than

‘I am here. I am awake to it all’?

“Rotorua Dreaming”

I met two Englishmen

travelling the world with

stories of carnivals and camping

unrivalled by my wildest imagination

and I fell for a German girl

who kissed like nothing I’ve known.

I befriended a Dane who decided

to travel the planet indefinitely,

a marine biologist turned scuba instructor

and an Oxford graduate who had

never heard that song about his comma.

 

I drank with a Canadian who

walked to the shops in flip-flops

when it was minus forty out,

apologising when I spilt my drink,

and another German who kept

buying me beer – my pleas getting

lost in translation and golden bubbles.

All in a volcanic town exploding

with stories and sulphur,

oratory and olfactory sensation

bursting forth from boiling geysers.

 

There is a whole world out there,

people and places never thought of,

conversations never considered,

kisses uncaptured by fantasy.

Words can barely explore an

experience so infused with colour

that it matches the steaming

orange-green-yellow-blue-red

mineral pools of Wai-O-Tapu,

drawn from deep in the Earth,

from dreams deep in my soul.