Inside out

Some poems and reflections on life

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My life is a dream
I fell asleep many years ago
The world just faded into gray
I don’t remember how or when

It just slowly went out of focus
Walking became harder
I laid down and slept

I wait for one kiss
A kiss to wake me out of this non-existence
A kiss to draw my blood to my face
A kiss to make my fingers tingle and my lips tremble

Just one kiss … that’s all

A kiss

Dry, cracked lips press onto my mouth
Stale breath fills my nose
I am pushed down as my mouth is invaded
By a fat, sour tongue

How dare you come into my room uninvited
Invading my sanctuary
Waking me with your clumsy, fumbling hands

A scream dies in mythroat
I am too weak to fight back

I am awake.

to be continued …


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Going home

If I had it all over again, what would I do?

I stand in front on the house where I played,
My older, future self looking in
How could I ever have imagined my life to be,
way back then?

I remember a time that I cannot return to.

Lying on the floor listening to records
Riding my bike across to the next town
Mucking around in Dad’s workshop.

I struggle to remember what once was.

The main street is now paved with brick
Chewing gum covered asphalt is gone
So too the seat where we ate hot chips after school.

Some things still remain, frozen in time.

The paint on the old church peels away at exactly the same spots
The town hall remains unchanged but no longer shows movies
The school, the park, the pool are just like when I left

And yet it has all changed

New shops, cafes on the high street
Houses fill in the paddocks I once crossed to school
The pub, where fathers got drunk on a Friday night,
is now a boutique hotel.

If I had it all over again, what would I do?
Would anything really be different?

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The gate

The silent sentinel
Entrance abandoned to
a forgotten destination

Rust binds metal to post
barricaded against the onset
of rampant growth

Who was it that once lived here?
running excitedly to check the mail
collecting fresh morning milk
cream clotting on the top
trudging home weary from the day
glad to see the sight of home

Now coprosma and hebe crowd the path
Burying it under a litter of leaves
Fantails swoop in the cooling evening
People drive by unseeing

No one will come this way again
But still you stand
the silent sentinel


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To escape your love

Sand shifts under my toes
Waves crash over each other
Racing to knock me down
Tide sucks me under

I race for the mountain top
to escape the wrath of your love
climbing higher than ever
to find myself
at the bottom of the abyss

Fog swirls envelop me
in quicksand sinking down
in my own shit up to my navel
where I gaze wondering
if I am to be eaten alive

Sinking down in ooze
I fall freely through time and space
landing in soft cushions of dust
scattering into clouds
shooting up my nose …

I sneeze … Tihei

I live … Mauri ora.


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Cotton wool break down

Wriggling, squirming, waiting to escape
to see the outside once more
locked in a life that traps
and dulls the senses
blunts the vision
dims the touch
darkens the taste
like cotton-wool bandages
prevents me from seeing the
rough ugly truth of the world
wherein lies beauty.

I take it on myself to stand
to make a stand on behalf of myself
to shake off my own oppression
of self-limiting thoughts
and beliefs
To reach out beyond my limits of time and space
to be what I had never once imagined.

Don’t limit me to the nonfunctional existence
Locked up in the nicety of life without true feeling
Hiding the depths of my anger
with words

We shout and rave and raise our voices
Insults fly like knives cutting
across the arms and face
But stop when first blood is drawn
A hug and handshake
Cleaned and purged – renewed

One random moment in time
Stretches to eternity as every
detail is examined
again and again

Wondering “why?”


(I found this one in my note book left untouched after some time. I think I may have meant it to be two separate poems. But I think they flow well together).

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Holy Shit

“Take this”, she says,
“My table is spread, richly laden”

“Take this”, she says,
“Eat fully, drink deeply.”

“Hear, but do not understand
“Look, but do not see
“If you try to explain, it will be gone
“If you try to see, it will vanish.”

An angel has stopped my mouth
While another has torn open my heart
My feet sink deep into the compost of reality
I stand on holy ground
Holy Shit!

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It takes one

Sitting on the porch
In the evening sun
First day back in Hong Kong

Discussing news with Father Murray
On the hill overlooking the New City
At the house of St Francis
Up the road from Tao Fung Shan

“tell me” he asks “how did it start?”
“it started” I say “with one”
“one kitchen, one hall, one church, one school”

“gradually it grew
“the ones joined
“they joined up and linked
“we started to see suburbs and then towns
then a few cities and regions”

“eventually more than half the country

“it was only a matter of time
“before the government had to say “no”

“but it started with “one”

“one kitchen – no nuclear weapons in my kitchen
“thank you very much

“I know that sounds strange and futile
“but if enough people say it and
“say it together
“things happen
“and they did

“That is how NZ became nuclear free.”

And thinking back now,
As I fly over Hong Kong again
Maybe, just maybe, that is why
We don’t live in a
Nuclear winter.

What one will you change in your kitchen today?

Picture of moon landing on old black and white TV. Has YouTube logo in bottom right corner of TV picture.

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Space odyssey

He fell from space at 200 miles per hour
Our moon landing, the young folks said

No, we had the real moon landing
Sitting in dining room on a Sunday morning
A 14 inch
Black and white
We knew which channel to turn to
There was only one

Grainy pictures beamed from space

A tiny module circles
A cold dark world
A man in a clumsy suit climbs
Awkwardly down a ladder

A step, small but giant
Stirring up dust that has
Laid for eons and hangs
In the air

The world cheers

It was real
It was our achievement
No conspiracy or fakery there

We went on and built a space station
We would colonise the moon
When we partied like it was 1999
We would be waiting for the moon to
Take off into deep space

But it didn’t – because the Doctor saved us.

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I swallowed a grain of sand

(best read out loud)

Breathe in; breathe out

Breathe out hold relax pause

Gently breathe in and let

The air pass through you …

I swallowed a grain

A grain of sand

A sand of grain

That caused a pain

I hid it down deep

Deep inside

Inside down deep

A secret to keep

Breathe in; breathe out

Breathe out hold relax pause

Gently breathe in and let

The air pass through you …

A hurt that swelled

Swelled and grew

Grew and swelled

Noone to tell

I built a wall

A wall around

Around a wall

Safe and sound

 Breathe in; breathe out

Breathe out hold relax pause

Gently breathe in and let

The air pass through you …


One small tiny, tender shoot of a root

Crept quietly

Wrigglingly squirming worming

Through the cracky gap







Breathe in; breathe out

Breathe out hold relax pause

Gently breathe in and let

The air pass through you …

You named that pain

That pain of shame

That shame of pain

And whence it came

You held me tight

Switched the light

Lighted the switch

And made me fight

Cold hard foolish truth

Crumbled to dust

Leaving only scars behind

 Breathe in; breathe out

Breathe out hold relax pause

Gently breathe in and let

The air pass through you …