New Zealand Poetry

How Ra Slowed Down Maui

by Selina Tusitala Marsh

For millennia Ra, the Sun streaked madly across the sky searching for The One. Nothing would deter her not the mandarins on the trees, greening not the piggy-backing possums, keening for warmth not humankind, groping in the dark before their … Continue reading


by Emma Barnes

Emma Barnes – Ohio We make out awkwardly on the bed. And her shifting weight is a tide or the back of the bus. Have you seen her lately? Not since she moved out. When we go to a costume … Continue reading


by Hinemoana Baker

Hinemoana Baker – Rope He roped me, he roped me twice the second time it caught, fell at the right angle and landed around the bones of my dress. He roped me from the East like light rising, from the … Continue reading


by Siobhan Harvey

When a child starts school, so too the parents: this is a truth cloudmother can’t escape. Here are others – when a teacher favours a child, so too the parents; when a classmate befriends a child, so too the parents; … Continue reading

Life and Customs

by Bernadette Hall

There’s mist like a frost net stretched over the paddock. The grain’s been cut and the baler has done its work. Now it’s time to set the paddock alight. Smoke drifts across the motorway. As usual we’re praying for rain. … Continue reading

Four Square, Cannons Creek

by Rob Hack

It is tea time, the wind is hard and cold, I run, head down, up Champion Street. Two things to remember, two things to get, Small tin of peaches, half pint of cream, don’t forget! Then the lights of the … Continue reading

Chagall in Vitebsk

by Cliff Fell

He believed in the dust that was beaten from rugs, how it became the stars of the Milky Way, and he would share the last hours of animals with his uncle the butcher who played to them on the violin. … Continue reading

In Corners, Under Frames

by Kay McKenzie Cooke

Kay Cooke – in corners, under frames It concentrates, this house, straining with the effort to remember it once had a green roof and a garden full of pink phlox. It’s my mother-in-law’s childhood home now remaindered as a holiday … Continue reading


by James Brown

That when Julie phoned, late at night, you cried out like a wounded animal. That you crooned ‘No Julie’ and ‘Oh Julie’ over and over, until the words caught up with each other and turned from tigers into butter. That … Continue reading

Sabina, and the Chain of Friendship

by Anna Jackson

Sabina sits holding a hen looking more like a hen than the hen looks. It is her face, lifted up, the way hens lift up their faces, wary, or the way they eye each other up a little lofty, a … Continue reading