The last diary

So it’s almost 2am local time and my brain is defiantly kicking around ideas. It started with me thinking about climbing attic stairs as a way to step back in time, and then rest of it just flowed to point that it seemed like a good idea to write it out so that I wouldn’t lose it by morning.

The last diary
There is a ladder to my attic.
The climb up 
takes me back in time
to dwell once more
amongst the forgotten remnants of what was,
and what could never be.
I find a shoe box full of the
static shells of people 
staring at me from polaroids,
their false smiles more faded 
than the last time.
I move on, in search of what I 
am really looking for.
It holds papers from last century
and an old diary.
I want to see again what she saw,
and hear her voice inside my head,
speaking to me in the way that only she knows.
She is a twin sister to me now:
connected but also her own entity.
I have told her stories 
but I need to hear her tell 
me again.
I want to know if she saw the world the
way I see it now.
Did she notice the connections and signs
that may have foretold the future?
Or was she as blind as I am now?
Amongst all the forgotten artefacts
and dust
I cannot find her.
Somehow the last known recordings 
in her own hand
have dissipated
into the mists of time
like the echoes of lost love.
I descend the ladder
back into current time
and the mourn
the person I used to be.
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OMG, this is twee!

Butterflies
Sometimes when an animal is born
it's form
is essentially what it will become.
The caterpillar though is different-
it needs to survive
long enough
For a a change, so difficult.

It locks itself away
For a painful transformation
Other creatures
Do not question why
When it emerges a butterfly
So confident and sure
It's not hard to see
That nature is strongest
When there's diversity.

The ways we remember

Today there are two completely different poems centred on the theme of remembering. The act of remembering is complex – a memory can be triggered by the slightest thing: a smell, a word, a sensation, anything. But once triggered our minds pull us back to that time and it becomes real again. Some memories we never want to revisit, others we cling to with desperation. And no two people remember the same event in the same way. Present emotions can determine how we interpret a long ago event. And then of course the act of involuntary forgetting – no matter how hard we try some memories are lost to us forever.

Un/retold story
What is my origin story?
The desert and ochre sand
the toes dug in so I could stand
The darkness and terror of night
The smell of gran's baking
her hugs, like I was the only one.
The self-created messes
the sins no-one confesses
the first time I spread my wings to breathe
And imagined what I could be.

My origin story
Lost in the forests of my memory
Fading into a fog, a mystery
Only fine steel tendrils entwine
Around my past, present and future time
Their grip is inescapable
and legacy unimaginable.

Going on
Touch of hand
Sound of voice
Dark of night
Beat of heart

A moment so fleeting
We will wonder if it ever happened
That blink of eye transience
Of human existence

Comforting moments become painful
When they are gone
And we who are left
Are forced to go on.
Longing for
your touch of hand
the sound of your voice.
Photo by Nou011fman Hatice on Pexels.com

The pavlova

Soft peaks rose
only to be covered,
weighed down by expectation
and a history of disappointments.
It's little wonder we all
crack a little
under the pressure.
Life's confection
overly reliant
on a saccharine finish
and false compliments
to the chef.
A temperamental beast
that demands too much
attention at every stage
and greedily pushes champagne
out of the way.
A dessert I care not for
but ritual dictates
I ask for seconds
as it is declared the best
iteration ever by those
more worthy than I.
Intolerable heat deserves
an intolerable show pony,
so here I am
with a second helping
slowly cracking
under the pressure.

The first two years

We have now been living with covid19 for two years. Some 5.44million people are no longer with us because of it – they were all someone’s daughter, son, sibling, parent, co-worker, neighbour, friend. New Zealand is an island nation with a relatively low population and we have lost 51 lives so far.

There are millions more who have survived but not yet recovered thanks to “long covid”. Who knows what impact long covid will have on their morbidity and longevity in the long term.

I found a half written covid themed poem on a scrap of paper that I decided to finish today. We can only get through this by maintaining good hygiene, staying up to date with boosters and masking up…and keeping up to date with the science. Kia kaha (be strong) and kia atawhai (be kind).

The story arc
The city's stark quietness
reflected our inner conversations
during that first year of cancellations.
And then came the year of mutation:
increasing fear of job losses;
fear of repossessions;
reinfection;
depression.

Quietness gave way to discontent.
Hidden behind the internet
someone was pulling strings
to get people herded into protesting.
Maskless, antivax and hope deleting.
Ignoring the science being articulated
for fear of being manipulated.
Spread now facilitated.

The epilogue
Nature is beautiful, complex and cruel.
The truth is clear and sometimes brutal,
and it will impact on all of us:
There are bacteria and viruses
that have lain frozen for millennia
They don't care about our mania.
We had this coming to us
in response to our hubris,
disrespect and ignorance.
Now we harvest
what we have sown.




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Back to work

So summer break is over and I am heading back into work. If you have thoughts on what inspired today’s poem please leave a comment!

Becoming what is expected
The colour feels cold and wet
as I glide it across my eyelid
knowing it will set hard
to last the coming day.
As it dries I will travel through
a window
becoming someone else.
Each layer adds to my armour.
I will sitting at my desk within the hour,
my disguise sewn seamlessly
to an element of truth.
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Pacific ties

New Zealand is part of the Pacific region. We are connected through geography, culture, family, history. In Samoan there is a concept of the va, the connections bewteen people. This poem was inspired when I was listening to a colleague talk about their Samoan family and their childhood before they moved to NZ.

The naivgators
Navigating the space
the connections.
Space between and within
connections,
across time and place.
Connections
bonds across the ocean
Pacific
non-specific.
Connections
Joining, rejoinders
Connections
Navigators' tools
Connections
Family
Connections
Bonds
Look how far we've come.

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Echoes from the past

Memories are like pieces of art – everyone reacts differently to them, seeing meanings that are invisible to others. Perhaps its the angles at which we see things when looking down the corridors of the brain. Maybe that’s the wrong analogy. Perhaps the process is more like old German fairy tales being given the Disney treatment, where there’s a horrifically patriarchal happy ending to wash out any non-commercial cultural heritage that won’t “spark joy”.

The retelling
Your voice is an echo from the past
Retelling stories that are more distant
to me each time they are told.
Facts twisted until they break
Under the pressure
as bleak days are washed clean
by your milk and honey remembering.

I am supposed to go along with the charade
So your guilt is finally lifted and we can all
"move on".
The requirement that I participate
in the revisionism
Throws petrol on memories that still burn
from so long ago.
Photo by Marcelo Jaboo on Pexels.com

Today’s weather report

Wellingtonians love a good chat about the weather – how long the winter is lasting, how short the summer was, how unseasonably hot/cold/dry/rainy it’s been, and of course any observation about the state of the air currents (aka wind) is always topic de jour. Weather is definitely a safer topic than politics, sport, religion, etc.

In this part of the world it is quite possible to experience four seasons in one day, especially if a warm northerly breeze is pushed out of the way by an insistent southerly howler. Those southerlies travel up from Antarctica so fast I am sure you could smell a fishy penguin beltch or whale fart if you stood on the south coast long enough.

After years of study I have deduced that the clouds are in on it. They seem to always be hanging around in the wrong place at the wrong time. It can’t be a coincidence. They are definitely involved in some sort of cover up!

The Cloud Conspiracy
I hear the roll call of stations
as I pass the hills - softly verdant -
no shadows are cast this morning.
The clouds have gathered
for their own climate conference.
Looking at their demeanour I can see boiling of anger begin
I suspect that wind and lightening will
join them this afternoon for a hard summer storm.
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