I have been a kitchen hand,

a labourer, receptionist

at a Kings Cross hotel;

an alarm technician,

a music tutor;

voluntary case-officer

at the community law centre;

a waiter, barrister [sic],



ballet dancer,

porn star;



thief, drug dealer;

and, most lately,

part-time gardener.


I want you to know, to think,

that I’m diligent, intelligent,

adaptable, resilient, even;

tempered: cool under difficult

circumstances. I can turn my hand

to a number of,



my ascendant’s

gemini  – quick

to learn. Also, I read



Faces at the glassless windows.

Eyes drawn tight.


Look at what happened.

To us.

When we were strong.

Yet we lost.

We were family.


In a wooden village.

Locked tight in belief.

We grew food to sell.

So we had a chance at life.

And we lost.

We lost hope.

We lost pride.

We lost it all.


In this falling down place.

All-but forgotten.

Chalk on the walls:

Boys’ school, girls’ school.

Little store rooms.

Big rooms for parents.

Little ones for children.

They slept on the floor.

Close to the earth.

The providing earth.

The walls are falling;

brown scrim floats in the wind.

It was our home.

When we were strong.

Now, our tears dried on our faces;

we are the hollow eyes of our past

A Prayer

White stucco walls and a simple cross

reach to the sky blue, threads of cloud.

A little church on a hill, a solid wooden door,

closed and locked.

Pray outside today, if you must.

A shingled track leads the way,

past towering pines, plains views.

The people of the valley fall to their knees

on buttoned cloth, reach for salvation

among the angled high beams; seek

to cleanse their minds of clutter and fear.

A man of the cloth raises his hands,

to test the power of prayer


as night waits summer nights late
spring warmth waits like a rugby sub
in the shot you see of him on the sidelines
in the higher number his track pants off
and warming up the sea is sky colour
and that is the colour of my laptop
screensaver a pale blue yellow eye
shimmering wet moist reflective
and curved in its flexible state
warming my gluts and all
I can think of during the
drive home from the
gymnasium soccer
is that a.i. has
become a
the creation and completion obsessive compulsion
how I once spent the whole night and the next day
untangling a knot of complex wires and strings
bindings I had no use for, but having started
having started…but this wasn’t a ball left mysteriously at my door
step on one of the final winter nights
and although we are the technology
exceeds anything created intuitive
emotional apps our clear faces
and clean eyes and the precious
transience of evenings in the symbolic centre of seasons
changing this feeling, beyond
data or memory in excess
of the ability to process
unfathomable bit-bytes
of logic, and to arrive
on two feet and negotiate
bail-outs with the BIS
and work off completely
wrong conclusions, to
waste parenting and drive
off your children with persistence
in utterly false commands to secure their afterlife




better than both

               better than both

this morning
the estuary was
and better
than both its
gloss and
dabs of
not ‘as
they were’
the sky
a living
blue not
ground in
any workshop

tamaki esturay
morning, 9 may 2016

playing it loud

              playing it loud

young and
stuck in school
all the muggy day
home i’d spin the
LPs to free the mind
a friday night my
parents out i pushed
the bedroom window
open wide as it could
go and let the neighbourhood
hear to enlighten their
cloddish souls the poet
who sang with the truth
burning in the veins he
opened his mouth and
out it came rhyming like
snazzy boots on the
way downstairs
‘its alright ma, i’m only
bleeding’* with its ‘president’
standing ‘naked’ *and a
‘voice ‘ in the ‘rat-race choir’*
40 years down the tracks
of my own bloody* making
not even sure if i got
that song then as i
thought i did
still i play his music loud
to enlighten the clodden
brethren i number among
winding down the window
coasting along the empty
main street closed in
afterhours shadow nobody
to even hear it and not
listening if there were
the singer who ‘poeted’*
in a voice now rough as
2 by 4, 40 years on for
him too, still nailing his
breath to the rhyme and
we’re rolling it out together still
for others to hear as they will
him on the voice guitar
piano and song
me on the window
a fan to the gloriously
starred and bitter

midnight, 24 march 2015
ware place, pakuranga heights

*’It’s alright ma, I’m only bleeding’ released on Bob Dylan’s 1965 LP, ‘Bringing it All Back Home’

*the full line is ‘But even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked’

*the full line is ‘While one who sings with his tongue on fire, gargles in the rat race choir

*allusion to Bob Dylan’s 1974 album ‘Blood on the Tracks’

*verb of my own creation, ‘to poet’ meaning ‘to consciously live as a poet and pay the attendant price’.

The World We Live In

I see the world In grey as the colours left me the other day, as the rainbow went from bright bar of light to a shattered cloud of the night.

I see the world of fire as the world of air left in despair, whisper of the air that was empty and said in fear, left to fire with meaning in which it burnt and scared with screaming.

I see the world of lies not truth that all despised, words that were spoke but in reality is a joke, truth was shunned away and was told it can not stay.

I see the world of the betrayed, they sit there scared and scathed, once love lived there in trust but now broken and tramped on because of lust.

I see the world in decay because there were no care the same way, when people needed to breathe life into, all they did was destroy and defecate and spew.

I see the world that could of been, but now all hope is gone it has strayed to far and wrong, what happened that we let the few destroy all we knew, topple them from their ivory towers remove them from their powers, install the good that we can do it is up to me and you, Just like the heart of a lover bring back all the colour.

the Drun Kaiwoz

Hearing, in the flat, bicycles fired
at the house, the same like the way the boys
and I used to, pushing off the peddles,
full of prank and sass, the voice of the
leader, puberty beginning to lift the
first skin of childhood, like a cicada—
clear like the clapping of waterfalls,
wet force of being Life, in the first torrent
of spring, in the desert, from a
hundred and forty miles away, or the
dry thunder of magazines dropping their
shells, the hot spent cartridge scent.
I haven’t had to count up missing hours,
or form, for years, or locate the source
of an unknown scent and I look around my
rented space, no bottles, or wine-stains,
no broken glass, no ashtrays on the floor, or
mattress airing– drying, no shat smell, lingering
fingers, above the keyboard, steady; sober
over anything found like money on the lawn
in the morning, dewy, decimal after the shindigs,
piss-ups, sessions, the lost nights given squelch,
coin-cold sober over anything; fame, wealth, love;
consistent, resilient, spontaneous, ordinary.
I’ve over-used the snake analogy, but how
uncomfortable, to see men and women carry
about the stuck skins of childhood, not completely
out, hanging off them like polyps, like undischarged sleeping bags.




sketches of self

Providence is inattentive.

I toss these crumbs and nothing happens.

The sparrows come but after I’m gone,

which is no fun. I get my deposit back

because I’m careful: I keep notes,

mental notes of good deeds I have done –

like receipts for power bills. I count my friends

and mark them out of five, in stars, like movies:

I cut half a star for a careless word,

and give it back when they’re dead.


I know, I think, my… magnanimous

motives: I caught my-self, like a flash,

framed in the mirror, fiddling

the books. Providence is…slow;

decrepit, almost; has her lucid

moments, tho. I’m pro euthanasia –

like Nature:  not indifferent;

neutral.  My one good eye is open.

The left hand I keep hidden, it’s sinister;

cunning, underhanded. When I was a boy


I was a doctor, and for a time

I practiced on my mother; in my bag: string,

masking tape, a hammer; and other odds and ends.

I believe I was good at it. I had passion,

but kept a cool head in a crisis. I showed good judgment.

I talked to my patient. To understand her.

And her maladies: I took it upon myself, and for a time

became an exorcist (and showed signs of mania);

then a footballer, a musician (in that order);

finally, a dancer. Seven – my lucky number:


so I played on the right wing for Glasgow Rangers.

I was a Catholic and wanted to play for Celtic:

(Macbeth, at that time, I think, was their manager)

Bobby Lennox, Billy McNeill and Dixie Deans –

no place for me in a team like that, but later

I became the famous Baryshnikov of the beautiful game –

quick, with two good feet, I ran rings around Ferguson

(in training). He was brutal by the way, a typical defender;

what they call “no nonsense”, “honest”, i.e.: a slugger,

no frills: frankly, awful. Providence slumbers –


my friend Zen reckons that good things sometimes happen

to bad people and that Karma is a crock of shit.

He’s right. I don’t envy your success. I’m just bitter.

I’m kind and I never complain. Except now. And then –

when you bled – you sly fucker – my delicate

flowers; my darling buds of May. When I was a girl

I went to London Zoo on my daddy’s shoulders.

I loved the animals; my first memory – the Reptile House


and the lions and the tigers, and a giraffe frightened me:

it was the neck and the little head, and the colours

and I remember the minder doing mean things with her teeth

and hot tea and said it was an accident and mother believed her

“so cute I could eat her literally” – that word’s commonly abused.


I took to alcohol abuse; my friend Kim,

s/he calls it super-use and that makes me laugh;

s/he’s my drinking buddy and my new best friend.

What a prick my teacher was – he had me up


against the wall. His name was McDuff

and my daddy beat him up. One day

I’ll look him up. I guess not. But I won’t forget:


a fantasist, I think of it – not a poof

or anything. It’s just that…


forget it – you mightn’t understand.

It’s just that…No, I can’t go on:


I’m shy; really, no: I’d rather not.


The piles supporting my house.

One of them is in decay, one day

it will give – should I get

Builders’ Bog? Will that do?

I lost a tooth – a wisdom tooth

And someone cracked a joke about it.

I know this guy who will knock your teef out

better than any dentist. And cheap.


[Note to Reader: I got that from Gogol: ‘Dead Souls’

– I recommend it – it’s really funny – but, you know,

those Russians…they take sadly to their drink, and it’s grim]


But he won’t anaesthetize you.

And he doesn’t use any tools.

Unexpected Gifts from Heaven

From the point of knowing,

Understanding who and what we are,



Nonetheless intangible,

Veiled in mysticism,

Dusted with flakes of realism and fear,

Sparsely mixed with faith.
Even dreamers are scared,

Others swallow the bitter pill of cynicism,

We are fragile vessels filled with dreams,

Ever hopeful.
Life ticks by

Till my granddaughter is clasped

Tenderly to my bosom,

A dream wrought,

Though not sought or foretold.

To God’s Perfect Son

expressive-painting-2007-1To the powerful one angels kneel,
Worship! Glory!
Heavenly hosts sang,
To God’s perfect Son.

Worship and glory are the great kings’ due,
Angelic voices ring out in tune and kneel
before the powerful one,
With Gods Son we can walk on streets of
gold, gold.
To the powerful One angels kneel,
Worship! Glory!
Heavenly hosts sing,
To God’s perfect Son.
Glorious, Majestic King,
Your praises fill the Heavens’,
Prayers rise to the Father’s
ears, he hears, cares.
to the Father’s ears he hears.

To the powerful One Angels kneel,
Worship! Glory!
Heavenly hosts sang,
To God’s perfect Son.