May 19 2017

“Thus the Glory of New Zealand”

DLB

for Colenso

 

wishing to do good

for the welfare of subjects

no civil powers

good will be futile

always ready to restrain them

expressly for your own good

down low, small, a worm, a crawler

no, no, no – my land has gone

let us remain as we were

come forward and interpret for me

they say a great deal which does not translate to you

others were afraid to show their nose

those fellows and creatures who sneak about

sticking to rocks and to the side of brooks and gullies

may not have it all

no, no – go back, stranger, man of yesterday

hawker and pedlar

foreigner, up and down

our lands are all already gone

this, my friends, is a good thing

I am sick, I am dead, killed by you

remain for us: a father, a judge, a peacemaker

convulsed with laughter

in plain clothes except for his hat

and unaccompanied by any of the officers

allow me to make a remark or two

quite children in their ideas

it is no easy matter

I well know

to get them to understand

I consider that I have

discharged my duty

we are now one people

there were two blankets

and a small quantity of tobacco

for each signatory to the treaty

 

by Daniel Larsen


Sep 12 2016

Childhood at Kai Iwi Beach, by Jim Campbell

DLB

Swimming gently along in the lagoon dog crawl style my wake rippled smoothly away behind me.

Out there it immersed itself in the bank, where long seed headed grass and bushy white and mauve headed Toi Toi dipped under azure blue sky. Reaching and reflecting opaquely into the warm brackish water, the growth forming the border of the lagoon stretched two rugby fields long, in a kind of oval.

Dragon flies zipped across the smooth watery surface, randomly disappearing out of sight above the foliage, sometimes in seeming straight lines. Until my eyes caught up with them, they were not there, then they were.

Ahead rising prominently out of the encompassing circumference of hills, a rock face. Stark and bold in white/grey colour. Its head protruded above the verdant flora. At the top into the sky, that I knew reached far north above the curve of a mighty long bay. Out there Mount Taranaki stood, sentinel over the land and the seas.

 

© Jim Campbell 2016


Jul 17 2016

K’RD & TOULOUSE LAUTREC, by Tamara

DLB

I am walking down a dark street. It is just after midnight. The new day has just started. The night never seems to last as long when you’re up that late unless you’re a true night owl. There are no variations to take up the time as in the normal day life. I am walking down Ponsonby Road. There are still people hanging out at the cafes. It seems like a dream as I’d usually be sleeping at this time. The electric and neon lights glow is so strong here in the city that it covers the whole sky in a reddish dull glow. The stars are very dim. Only the stronger glowing planets like Venus can really be seen. It makes me remember the Planetarium when I was a kid. Now I am out and free as an adult. I don’t go to work; I don’t go to school. I have my own life. But I’m not really aware, I am overwhelmed by my mental illness. I have a feeling of the tides of life flowing in and out. I can’t explain it any more than that. Something like Janet Frame. I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. I don’t know if I’m real or not. All I can feel is some basic reptilian instinct underneath everything. I don’t want to take a risk and just enjoy what I am, right now. I’m full of fear. I just need to be a bit braver.

Soon I turn left onto K’rd.There are lots of ladies of the night out here.I blend into the scenery in my jeans and coat. I am the only one without a miniskirt and platform heels. I don’t really want to be here.But I have to be here to get home. Everything seems garish in the streetlamps. Like the 18th Century- a painter like Toulouse Lautrec who frequented the ladies of the night, the courtesans of this era and tried to portray their lifestyle in oil paint. Or like Van Gogh who focussed obsessively, incessantly on cafes where everything could lead, inescapably and dangerously to a dim underworld of escape and yet madness. There were the trannies, much taller with wigs and exaggerated make-up, but still in the requisite dress code of platforms and minis. I passed strip clubs. I didn’t know if l anyone would think I was a working girl or not, I was scared they would.

People came in and out, men with girlfriends or call girls. I walked at a medium pace. As I walked I thought that this was a timeless scene, it could come from anywhere in the 20th,21st or 19th centuries.

I turned the corner, looking at my watch –the only one of my18th birthday presents I had not given to a taxi-driver. It looked, also something that could incongruously come from the 19th ,20th or21st centuries.

It was cold and a breeze came up. I wanted so much to get home to my own bed and ran down Queen St to the old Manor house hotel and walked through the front door past the buzzing bar upstairs and down the steps to the rooms. I let myself in through the door. Dumped my clothes in my suitcase and crashed into bed, turned the light off. I replayed the events of that night in my imagination and slowly drifted off to sleep, pulling the warm covers around my cold body. Dreams of Toulouse Lautrec and night-time streetwalkers played through my mind until I was drawn in the rip-tide under the waves of sleep.


Jul 17 2016

Future World by Liz Higgins

DLB

The day dawns with its usual coolness and quietness. But nothing is usual in this future world. Dawn is sudden, not gradual like it used to be. The coolness is short-lived. With relentless predictability, the air warms. The heat returns. Auckland used to have four seasons—summer, autumn, winter and spring.

 

Now there is a long period of summer, and a harsher winter. Autumn is a brief pause between summer and winter. Deciduous trees lose their leaves quickly, and leave a litter of burned foliage on the ground. Spring is a brief period of flowering followed by the fruits of the earth. But the flavour is gone—they dry out very quickly as the earth heats up. The world has changed dramatically in this new age.

 

Some parts of the world have become uninhabitable, and the Auckland of this future reflects this. The harbour has altered its appearance­—and people have changed where they live. More people have moved underground, to escape the heat. Rising temperatures are not the only aspect of climate change. Extreme weather is another aspect. This was already happening fifty years ago, but people ignored the warnings. Scientists’ dire predictions were disregarded, and fossil fuels ran out. Aucklanders also faced the threat of volcanic eruptions, but were well protected by civil defence warning systems.

 

Then the storms increased their fury. Nature began to fight back. Every hurricane was more destructive. Winter grew longer as extreme cold was the opposite of extreme heat. The population of the planet decreased as insect-borne diseases took hold in the summer, and the harsh winters took their toll. Life changed as some adapted, and others failed to adapt. Mutations between animals occurred. Plants took over the buildings that people abandoned. For a long time there was a process of evolutionary change. Gradually the world settled down and a new dawn ushered in a different world.

 

Those who had survived lived in small groups, and learned to live with a very different environment. Their technology was useless in this new world, so they created vast mountains of discarded gadgets. The plants grew over these rubbish dumps as well. People lived more simply—for a while. But progress happened again—only this time the environment was respected, as well as all forms of life. People lost one of the fundamental flaws of humankind—human greed. The planet spun on its axis, and night became day again. A better world had evolved.

 

My name is Mary Wright. I was young when the world changed fifty years ago. As an advocate of respect for the environment I was aware of the developing situation. Through many years I have helped people cope with the new world, through addressing groups and growing crops and farming. This became possible as the weather extremes diminished. We live more simply now, more like we did in times past. There is less conflict and we share our problems. As survivors, we have made a pact not to endanger the planet again. War and greed are things of the past. My hope for the future is that our children continue respecting and caring for the environment. We must never return to the world of fifty years ago.


Jul 17 2016

The more pork, the sky and me. By Keith Kemp

DLB

When I was small,

and lived on the farm.
I’d step outside,
then I’d run.
I’d go and touch the newly ploughed earth,
and break it in my hands.
The smell would rush to my head.
Then I’d run again,
and kick the clods with my boots.
A crop would push its way out of the same ground,
that I had ran across while kicking clods.

On summer nights,
I’d lay out on the lawn,
that surrounded the Homestead.
The hard ground would be my mattress,
and a pile of fresh cut grass,
my pillow.
The stars overhead would be my blanket.
The night sounds would then come,
and steal me away.
It would feel so good!
Especially when the more pork called.

I’d call back,
“Come, take me away.
Fly me up, as high as you can.
Up into the inky black sky,
set me free from this earth again!”

Then I’d say,
“I’ll be closer to heaven,
than I’ll ever been before.
I want to fly,
not run.
I want to soar,
not fall.
I want to go beyond that horizon,
where there are no buildings at all.”

Then I’d lay quiet and still.
I’d listen to the crickets, singing in the grass.
I’d say to one,
“I want to be the only one for miles around.
Except for you my little brother,
please stay.
You, and your brothers and sisters,
all make me feel so good.”

The cricket would smile a simple smile.
Then he’d say,
“Oh, little brother,
that sounds so good to me!”

Then the morepork would come,
and carry me away.
We would fly,
way up high,
into the dark silent sky.

He would fly me as high as he could!
Out into the darkness,
so wild and free.
Closer to heaven,
than I’d ever been.

I would then turn and say,
“I want to touch the earth.
I want to break it in my hands,
and feel it under my feet.”

The more pork would nod,
while looking straight at me.
Then he’d say,
“Oh my brother,
that sounds so fine to me!”

Then we’d fly down,
into my fathers arms.
They would nod at each other,
and my dad would say,
“Did you fly my boy,
way up high into the sky,
as far as you could?”

The morepork would reply,
“Yes I did!
Way up high,
into the jet black sky.”
Then my dad would say,
“Go, fly free.
See you tomorrow,
under the great makracapa tree.”

So off the morepork would fly,
to the nearest tree.
There he would joyfully call out,
to his brothers, his sisters and me.

My dad would carry me back
to my bed of hay.
To sleep and dream,
of the coming new day.

In the morning when I awoke,
to a clear blue sky.
I’d race to the makracapa tree,
and knock three times.
I know my more pork would hear me.


Jul 17 2016

Monday Creative Writing Spring 2015

DLB

Date: 23-Nov-2015 ; Title: Battle

 

Greg Dallimore

 

Against competing, yes?

 

Because competing meant ..

 

Chasing irrational expectations

 

Deceptive grand illusions

 

Early grave, no?

 

Flee, TV .. plague?

 

Graphic hype?  Run!

 

Honourably share opportunity

 

Insight and answers.

 

Keith the Thief!..?

 

Loss?  Road back ..?

 

My thieve’d notion ..

 

Never-the-mind, demoscene-like descriptions

 

Of many options

 

Path of return

 

Quench the thirst

 

Rationally ignoring competition

 

See such safety

 

Tame good qualities

 

Use at opportunity?

 

Victory by non-victory?

 

Work okay crazy.

 

X-mass of abstaining?

 

Yes, needed not!

 

“Zone” sustained practices!

 

7-Dec-2015:

 

Gabe Webb

 

I write to you to ask you a few favours.  Would it be possible to come and stay at your place indefinitely?

 

Could I possibly cook, clean and take medication from the Hospital Board.

 

If I receive a complete Bill of Health, would there be other responsible people actually living with me at the same address.  And could I cope with eating, sleeping and daily process and programme.

 

Would there be some money involved to tide me over and would I too eventually have my support?

 

Could I also have a beautiful lover and plenty of things to do to keep busy?

 

I would like to spend the time if necessary working towards a common goal with the family about being in a place and time with Charlotte forever, beyond our Universe, beyond our time.

 

Light, music, magic, people.  Please accept my apologies for being so good about life and change.  So really as with God so with the time we all believe to be from a people place and time.

 

Hello to all the family and lovers, hello to Anna and my home.  And to Mum, Dad and New Zealand.

 

 

The White Room

By Matthew Savage

Her ears were ringing so badly she cupped them in her hands. She felt agony throughout her entire body.   The last thing she remembered was a bus as she had stepped out from the pavement. It had been large and so very close. She didn’t remember anything else after that except being here – wherever here was.

She looked about. Where was she? Everything was so bright and glary. As her eyes adjusted to her surroundings she realised she was in some kind of white room. She had never seen a room as white before. She could make out a faint noise but not where it was coming from. Someone was calling her name. Someone she didn’t know, but his voice sounded very kind though it had an urgency to it. She looked about but could not see anyone else. She was alone in the room.

Time seemed to be running very slowly as she took in her surroundings. She could feel her heartbeat. It was so slow. The room was entirely white and there was a white door on the opposite wall. A white table was in the centre of the room, on it stood a white candle with a burning flame, a white hourglass with white sand still falling to the bottom, and a set of white scales. Such a puzzling array of objects she thought. But even more puzzling, who had put them there?

“Dawn” the voice called her. It was a male voice, she was certain of it just as she was certain she didn’t know who it was. She turned her attention to the room and began to study it. Apart from the door, table, hourglass, scales, and candle there was nothing else here. She still hurt though. Lucky that bus hadn’t hit her, she thought. But where did the bus go, and how did she end up here? In fact, how did she evade that bus? She had no idea.

“She’s not responding” the voice said, concern clearly audible.

Not responding, she thought, what did he mean. She most definitely was responding. She moved toward the door. There she noticed a date and time written above the door but it wasn’t today. In fact, it wasn’t anytime soon either. She drew a breath. It hurt. A memory returned to her, she had been on her way to lectures, standing at the sidewalks edge. She had been late and was rushing to get there on time. It was Professor Grey’s class and he didn’t like it when people were late. He would always make a spectacle of late students. It was always humiliating for whoever was late.

She moved to the table and the hourglass, the sand was dropping so slowly – too slowly. It was like time was suspended here. But how was that possible. There was still a lot of sand in the top of the hourglass. She picked the hourglass up and gave it a shake.

“wait, I think I got something”, the voice said with hope.

“Got what?” Dawn thought. The voice hadn’t mentioned what it was trying to get. There was another surge of pain. She didn’t like those surges. She put the hourglass back on the table and touched the scales. But the scales were fixed in place, they didn’t move. Weird she thought. On one side of the scales was written the word good, and on the other evil. The scales were showing clearly that good was outweighing bad. But what a strange set of scales. It was like someone was being judged, but who by?

She turned her attention to the candle. Wax was slowly melting and flowing down to the bottom of the candle holder. It was an unusually large candle, why it would take a very long time to burn out. She moved her hand near the flame. It flickered.

“I think we’re losing her”, the voice said.

Losing, she thought, that didn’t sound good. Pain surged through her again. She was beginning to feel cold. She didn’t like it. Where was she? How did she get here? She moved to the door and tried to open it but it wouldn’t budge. How was she going to get out of here? She was beginning to panic. What kind of place was this she was in?

There was another surge of pain. Those surges were bothering her. Things weren’t right. Her arms and legs were beginning to tingle. She was feeling drowsy. She leant against the table and then sat on the floor. She was feeling exhausted, so very tired.

“She’s getting weaker”, the voice said, “you have to hold on”.

“Hold on? Hold on to what” she thought. She sure was going to be in trouble by the time she got to Professor Grey’s lecture on matrices and their applications. Then there was the cute boy in the second row. She smiled a bit, a little energy returning, she got up. What was his name again? Jason, that’s right. She had never spoken to him but had overheard his name. He was seriously cute. He had raven black hair and crystal clear blue eyes. She sighed a little. She didn’t have a boyfriend, and Jason was so extremely cute. There was a university ball coming up too. She was on her feet again. “How to get out of here?” she thought.

“Hang on, she’s getting stronger” the voice said.

Stronger? Well, she wasn’t feeling as tired if that’s what the voice meant. She was still in pain though. The door appeared to be the only way out of the white room. Unfortunately she couldn’t get the door open. She pushed, and pulled on the handle but it didn’t budge. How long would she be stuck here? She had to get to that lecture.

There was a massive surge of pain and then a sudden swirling of colour. She opened her eyes painfully and drew a breath. She was looking up at – a paramedic. Her body hurt so badly, she couldn’t bring herself to move.

“Welcome back” the paramedic said.

 

 

 

Dear John

By Matthew Savage

23 Cheater Lane

Liesville

 

7 December 2015

 

14 Gullible Ave

Truth Town

 

Dear John,

I love you so very much, in fact too much that I cannot continue. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve met someone else. You know him, he’s Jack, your best friend. We’ve been seeing each other for a few months now. I think I’m pregnant with his child. I hope you can be happy for us. We are planning on marrying soon and Jack wants you as his best man. We’ve picked the same chapel that you and I looked at. I feel Jack and I have a real future together. We told your parents a few weeks ago and they agree to wait for us to tell you.

Sorry about yesterday when we went shopping for an engagement ring – I couldn’t think of how to tell you, you looked so happy that I couldn’t tell you right then and there.

Jack and I are really happy together – we are planning on buying that house you and I looked at. Jack’s just got a new job, it’s the one you applied for. I hope you don’t mind.

 

Love Jane

 

 

Justin Stuckey

 

“Are we watching a documentary of war today in history sir?” asked the pupil. “Believe it or not we are,” replied the teacher. “‘Cause,” asked the pupil, “I was wondering if it contained visions of graphic reality. Does it bring to mind the ancient war gods of Genghis Khan?” asked the pupil. “Evenly speaking, yes,” informed the teacher. “Further, it intercepts at a point where men finally come to call all war insane.” “Graphic reality” nodded the pupil. “Hell is war and war is hell”, he decided. “Is it going to introduce the true meaning of battle?” further queried the pupil. “Justifiably yes” agreed the teacher. Kindly asked the pupil, “Do you suggest it demonstrates war in all its grim dark reality?” “Loosely put yes”, agreed the teacher. “Might legions of men beg for death?” “Neatly put yes” informed the teacher again.

 

 

16.11.2015

 

Joseph Turner

 

Where’s the music gone?

Like I said where’s the f’ing…

Gone with the gin ‘n’ tonic.

A human desert waiting to go into detox, rehab

It’s all in November (the rains)

Do I/Don’t I care?

The smile; she disappeared, then occasionally reappeared

A bit like the Cheshire Cat?

But you’ve got to remember this is not Wonderland

And you’re not from around here

You are not from around here

What do you know of unmitigated hell, with good transport links to Albany

When I came back, I stopped wondering why my heart was still beating

I wanted nothing

And more precisely I would take anything

(That wasn’t a lie)

(That wasn’t me being cheated from my life)

But what’s your matter baby, atoms

What are these words from a person barely here

And computers will be everything: everything we can do they can do a bit more reliably

Embrace your inner robot

Become one with the android

Who says:

“Nothing means anything.

Nothing matters.”

 

2 Iggy Pops

 

Joseph Turner

 

I got the call at 3 am:

“Take the next flight to Berlin; there’s another Iggy clone on the loose.” As an Iggy Pop connoisseur myself, this would be an especially tough assignment. And Berlin of all places? I was spooked. Then they called again:

“You’ll have to take a jump-off – he’s managed to slip inside the late 1970s… West Berlin…” This was serious: I reported to Time Department immediately. They administered a tranquiliser and began the calculation for my trip.

 

When I regained consciousness I found myself surrounded by smoke and being bombarded by loud music. Where was I? I quickly realised this must be the nightclub they’d told me about: Das Krazy, West Berlin, the night of 8th October 1976. It seemed evident that everyone there was on something, alcohol or otherwise. As I had mentioned I was already a connoisseur of this music, but I couldn’t let that affect the mission.

 

I recognised, however, the sound of seminal German techno group Kraftwerk. Actually they were up on the stage; their shimmering synthesiser melodies and mechanical dance beats blaring from every corner of the hall. I could see them up there on the stage with their minimalist robotic personalities and motions. I decided to blend in.

 

I navigated through the heaving mob towards the bar. Just as I was in the process of ordering a gin and tonic from the bartender I heard a commotion from the stage area and then the echoes of a distinctively nasal American twang.

 

“It’s great to see you all in here tonight”, the voice semi-crooned. I looked up. It was him. I reached for my ray gun. But I needed to establish the target first – there were two Iggy Pops in this time zone and location. But the next thing I knew someone had jumped up on the stage and thrown a punch. Iggy was knocked and staggered backwards. But wait a minute, I was seeing double. The assailant was also Iggy Pop. But he was holding and stroking a small chameleon which was now turning from a dark dull tone to electric blue like the colour of the massive projector screen behind it. The second Iggy stepped towards the microphone.

“West Berlin, show your appreciation tonight!” he wailed.

 

I thought about this: either way the time continuum was already fucked. And this was great, I’d choose this any day over the banal Orwellian world of 2053. I relaxed my index finger from the ray gun trigger. Two Iggy Pops was not necessarily a bad thing.

 

 

 

JAKE.

 

Liz Higgins

The tall woman scowled at her reflection in the mirror. She looked more careworn every day. Her life was so difficult. She felt bitter about all the bad luck she had endured. She sighed as she felt the past encroach on her again. Mary had been beautiful once, and happy. The future had seemed to promise a good life. But it had all gone wrong when Jake had died so young. She had been left to manage alone.
Mary walked over to the window and looked out at the garden. The neighbour’s two children were making the open window. It wasn’t fair that other people had such fun in their lives. She wished she could be a black clouds bringing rain, making them run inside.
She stared at the playful dog. Suddenly she realised the children were climbing the tree on the boundary. It was swaying as they climbed. She watched for a moment, then realised they might be in danger. There was no sign of their parents.
“Be careful,” she called out.
But they didn’t hear her.
She ran downstairs, out of the door, and into the garden.
“That tree isn’t safe; it’s old and brittle. You could fall.”
The children stared at her. She fascinated them, this strange woman who lived next door. But now she was concerned about their safety.
“It’s O.K.; we’ll come down now. We were just having fun.”
Mary looked at them. A smile transformed her face.
“So you were. But you must be careful, too.”
The dog barked, close to her. Mary looked down and saw the dog wriggling under the fence. It looked just like Jake, complete with sideburns and moustache. She blinked. It was just a hairy dog. The face was still Jake’s face. She reached out a tentative hand.
“He’s O.K. He likes being patted.”
Mary patted the dog’s head, and stared into his eyes. Jake’s eyes looked back at her, and the dog grinned. She smiled back.
“Hello, boy,” she said. “You can come and visit me whenever you like, but come with the children next time.”
The children stared at Mary, then grinned.
“You don’t mind if we climb the fence?”
“No, as long as you’re careful.”
“Of course. I’m Pete, and she’s Rosie.”
“Hello, Pete, hello, Rosie. Nice to meet you. I suppose you were a bit scared of me. I haven’t been very friendly. I’m sorry about that. I lost my husband many years ago and it made me keep to myself. I stopped trusting people, but that was wrong.”
“That’s all right. We’d better go now.”
“Goodbye. What’s the dog’s name?”
“Jake.”
Mary watched as the children climbed back over the fence, and the dog wriggled underneath. Jake had come back into her life again.

DISCOVERY.

 

Liz Higgins

She was as pale as plaster and trembling so hard she seemed about to fall. He held out his hand. She clutched it, smiling weakly.
“I had quite a shock. I didn’t know you knew how my father died. No one was meant to know.”
“But his suicide made that difficult.”
“How did you know?”
“I was a paramedic on the ambulance team.”
“Oh.”
“Now breathe deeply, and calm down. Better?”
“Yes.”
“Tell me about your inheritance.”
Ellie looked at him. Could she trust him? She suspected the ruby might be valuable. She held out the ruby.
“This had my name on it. I’m afraid I’ll lose it.”
“It’s definitely valuable.”
Then Ellie was pressing the ruiby into his hand, her whisper for him alone.
“Please take care of it for me. And don’t leave me.”
Max wrapped the ruby in his handkerchief, and put it in his pocket.
Ellie smiled and pointed to the soaps.
“Help me wrap them,” she said. “Overwrap all the soaps with short lengths of fabric or ribbon, securing each with a knot.”
They worked quickly. Soon all the soaps were wrapped.
“They look great. And you’re calmer.”
Ellie smiled.
Max looked closely at Ellie. Her smile broadened.
“What are you looking at?”
“There’s some bits of ribbon in your hair…it suits you.”
Ellie started to laugh. Max felt she was laughing only because she enjoyed laughing, not over what she said or thought. He realised he was falling in love with her.

 

 

A documentary. ‘Climbing Mt Mauganui.’

 

Keith Kemp

 

Instructions:

  1. Write a list of twelve words that are associated with that event. (Didn’t do this.)
  2. For each new sentence, you have to start it with the letters of the alphabet. Line one A, line two B, etc, etc. (Did this!)
  3. Write at the end of the story a purpose of this event, and it’s meaning to you. (Didn’t do this!)
  4. Then go back and reduce the word count by a third. (Did this!)

……

A quiet Friday night shattered by my children.

‘Bloody annoying kids!’ I think.

“Can’t you guys be quiet!” I call out.

“Don’t give us that dad. You know you love being annoyed!” One of my kids said.

‘Enough all ready! These kids have got me and my new habits nailed!’ I think to myself.

“Food!” One of the kids shout as they start devouring everything on the table.

“Great news dad! We’re all going to The Mount tomorrow!”

“Hello. Is that me as well?” I ask excitedly!

“I’ll take good care of you,” says Sami, with a big smile on his face.

Juanita smiles her cheeky smile and says, “You are going to have fun!” As she winks at her siblings.

“Keith, you need to go to bed early. You’re going to be busy tomorrow,” says Fou.

Lazily I shower, then I’m off to bed, with a bit of You Tube for an hour, secretly in bed.

Middle of the night, and I’m sleeping like a log!

Nocturnal oblivion takes over my soul.

Oh, a beautiful dawn! The birds are awake and singing, before my alarm even goes off!

Past the other bedroom doors I fly! I’m first in the shower, then dressed, breakfasted, and I feel so alive!

Quickly the others assemble and its off down the road.

“Remember stay with us.” “No wandering off.” “No chattering to strangers.”

Stopped at a bakery on the way. I purchased four pies, three filled sandwiches, two creamed doughnuts, and one large bottle of juice, then we hit the road again!

Turned off Highway One and headed east to the coast!

Understanding how my family functions within a confined space, is ‘interesting’ to say the least!

Very fast cars keep passing us at odd places, usually on corners.

We arrive! The Mount in all its splendour!

Xmas is close.

Yeah boy! Bring on the climb!

Zooming up the mountain side. Excitement boiling up inside.

…..

 

 

A Dark Moon.

 

Keith Kemp

 

Dark moon, way up high in the sky.

Dancing through the clouds.

But tell me why!

Why have you lost your own splendour?

What is the cause?

Is it because you have lost your own true love?

 

We mere mortals dream,

of love’s perfect scheme.

In time to realise,

that a dark moon can bring true love.

You are so high up in the sky.

So tell me why.

Why have you lost your own splendour?

What has caused your light to go?

Is it because you have lost your own true love?

 

We mere mortals dream of our own lovers,

and their perfect schemes.

But what we don’t realise is,

our love can bring exquisite pain,

agony and sometimes even shame.

 

Our own love is like that dark moon,

that’s way up high in the sky.

But tell me why?

Why does our own true love,

sometimes loose its splendour?

Just like you dark moon,

you cast no shadow.

Is it because,

you have lost your own love as well?

 

Introduction

Dianne Burton/Leitch

 

 

Do not be afraid to love or to lose in your quest to find love.

Take your loved ones to you and delight in their company.

Dance and sing and celebrate your life and its blessings.

Listen to your children and share the knowledge that this life is given to us to fill with joy.

Do not be afraid to object to the lies that we are made to believe, that we must strive to achieve financial gain, to be a successful individual.

To know how to love with no boundaries, to give of yourself even if you get nothing in return.

Tell your loved ones that you are unconditional in your love for them. Lift them up if they fall.

If you are alone sit quietly and send your love out to the world.

It is by love that we shall conquer.

We are being misled and destroyed by the money hungry machine and war mongers.

Do not be afraid that they can hurt you, as you are eternal and your essence is indestructible.

Turn your back on violence and all that they sell you to pollute your being.

Surround yourself in loves golden mantle. Love yourself, do not let others make you stray from your path.

Block your ears from their propaganda, lies and dogma.

The more of us that say,’ I do not buy into what you say’, without fear, surrounded by music, love dancing and singing with joy at every new day, the more the vibrations of this world will change.

So dance and sing with joy to help raise the vibrations so the Earth will be healed.


Apr 26 2016

Spy Story by Tamara O

DLB

SPY STORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tamara O

Ah yes, I’ll expect you to turn your translation of the poem and the original over to intelligence when they ask for it – and they surely will – and then wipe the whole damned thing out of your mind.

Camille slammed the book shut. She closed it on this sentence. She was sick of spies and spying. It had been her whole life since she was a young child. It was such a burden, such a responsibility. Having to hide her Dad’s profession from the other girls at school.

Especially with his habit of making constant gaffes which the media so often intercepted. She was sure that Tatiana knew. Tatiana’s Dad was one of the high security risk people, one of the ones that had a file a metre high. They had to carry it on a trolley. This was just the sort of thing that would tickle Tatiana’s warped sense of humour. And Camille knew she must not let it slip, ever.

Such a shame being the daughter of a spy, by association Camille had to go just as much undercover with her school friends as her Dad did, or as he was supposed to do when he wasn’t constantly making “omissions” as the Bigwigs upstairs called them.

She even worried about the neighbours sometimes. She sighed. She supposed this was just being as teenager. Now she was 15 everything seemed to be becoming so infernally complicated. She was sure Mrs Jasko their neighbour on the right, in the large brick and white concrete house had her suspicions something was up with Camille’s family. She couldn’t believe how self-conscious she had become in the last year. Some would call it paranoid. But you can’t really escape this as the daughter of a spy. It just goes with the territory.

She looked out the window. She could see Mrs Jasko in the garden pottering around with a watering can and gardening gloves. She remembered that her Dad had told her to give Mrs Jasko back the torch they had borrowed during the power cut a few nights ago.

She knocked on the window then rushed downstairs picking up the torch from the bookshelf in the living room on the way down.

Camille entered Mrs Jasko’s garden through the gate in the fence. Mrs Jasko turned around.

She looked in a terrible state, her hair unbrushed, tearstained cheeks and bloodshot eyes. “Good gracious Mrs Jasko. What on earth happened, Are you alright?

“No, we’ve just had a break-in. They grabbed me and shouted at me “Where are the papers? The secret papers. We know you’ve got them.” It was terrible. I was terrified,” Suddenly Camille was overwhelmed by a rush of guilt. She knew the burglar must be involved with spying and had mistaken Mrs Jasko’s house for the De La Maine’s house.

She looked straight into Mrs Jasko’s red rimmed blue eyes, praying that the other woman would use her own intuition. She wishndersed so much that Mrs Jasko didn’t have to go through this sort of terror just by association and the fact she was their neighbour. She just hoped

Mrs Jasko could somehow understand that the violence directed at her wasn’t actually meant for her.

“Here’s your torch, Mrs Jasko.”Said Camille hesitantly, her hands shook as she reached out holding it in both hands. Camille felt so acutely overcome with embarrassment that she turned tail and if not actually running, hastened as fast as she could march back towards the gate between the two properties.

Camille entered her own home by the side door. She slammed the door. Then she ran up the steps. She could feel her eyes filling and the shaking becoming more overwhelming. Her Dad Martin met her at the top of the steps. “What’s wrong dearest?” He asked with what Camille thought was disingenuous stupidity for a man with such a responsible and demanding, testing job or position. “Just ask Mrs Jasko.” Shouted Camille, slamming the door again this time into her bedroom.

She threw herself down on her bed. Then she grabbed the pillow. She bit into it, she could feel a tear slipping out of her left eye. Suddenly there was a pounding on her door. “What is it? Go away!” she railed. Her Dad’s voice emitted from behind the door. “Camille, its Sebastian your little friend.” “What does he want?” replied Camille. “Do you want me to tell him to go away?” Asked Martin. “No, of course not .” sniffed Camille wiping her face on the pillow.

“Come downstairs then.” Shouted her father again. Camille picked up her teddy bear ‘Monty’ and hugged him to her chest as she hurried downstairs.

She wondered why Sebastian had to arrive at a time like this. She arrived at the open front door. “Ok babe” she greeted him. What’s wrong, Camille. Shit. You look a mess.” Then he reached forward and clasped her in his arms.

“Let’s go somewhere.” Said Sebastian, releasing her from his embrace, “Yeah, sure” sniffed Camille. “I’ll just tell your father and we can get rolling.” “Yeah, ask my Dad, Mum’s not home. My sister’s staying the night at a friend’s place. My brother’s at Sunday league.” “Just wait here.” said Sebastian, squeezing her hand. He entered the house and soon emerged with her jacket and her purse. He handed them to her, clasping her shoulders in a tight, intimate grip.

Soon they were in his car on the motorway. He put the radio on and turned it up high. He switched on the base. “This will take your mind off it.” He stated with concern. “Now you can start telling me what on earth can have happened to make a beautiful young girl look so miserable and mess up her pretty little face.”

“It’s just the same old shit.” “What do you mean? Your Dad? You’re always worrying about him. I don’t know why you let it bother you so much. Whatever it is it can’t possibly be as bad or as secret as you tell me.”

She sat there watching the cars race by on the approaching lane. “Surely it’s nothing to bother your pretty little head about it.

“That’s it, it is.”She said enigmatically. “Let’s just go someplace  anywhere and forget all about it.” “Where do you want to go? You choose.” Answered Sebastian.

“Piha.” She said decisively. “Piha it is.” Said Sebastian heading for the turn- off.

It was early evening and the daytime swimmers and surfers had deserted the beach. Sebastian and Camille gathered some driftwood and started a fire.

Late at night they abandoned their bonfire.

We started off; we left firewood, a sack of beans, a few bottles of liquor for the next travellers.


Apr 26 2016

Two Poems by Keith Kemp

DLB

Songs that are unwritten tell me so much more,
than the words that I can hear.
Tell me,
will I live in the settlement of my own stumbling lies, that are now full of burning stars?
My love,
look at my hands, as they tremble in fear.
Then turn to fists.
If you have the power to give to me,
then give it!
Who will go on the trail of the lonely heart,
and still be so bold?
Fear now grips my heart,
and is piled high in the field of the dead.
Which remains in the bright light of ones own mind.
Who has a firm hand,
that will rank great in the sight of God?
The sun now looks down on me.
My heart is at peace,
and gives me the power to give or take.
If I have the power to give and take.
Then you will be you,
it’s as simple as that!

Meet with me at dawn,
and that moment will be the tenderest of our love.
With you,
I can’t go wrong.
With this head on my shoulders,
with the patience of a saint,
and under the lash of the midday sun.
Look for me,
as my hands turn into fists of rage.
There is power still within me.
That can make me go and give to others.

How many songs are there yet to be sung?
Tell me,
and I will sing them all.
Where am I to live,
and where am I to go and die an ungodly death?
Whether I’m lying on the ground,
or flying like a star in the sky,
the sun above looks down on me.
My true love comes looking,
and seeking.
My heart has turned from stone into flesh.
If there’s a way out of all of this mess that I’m in, show it to me!

Will I tread this lonely path yet again?
Will I be strong and brave?
Will I pay the ultimate price in this battle for your love?
Very few people now remain in my memory.
In my mind there is no sound,
as I watch as my dreams unravel.
Only my hands still hold me in the ranks of life.
I am alive, and in love.

Where have you gone now, my little bird of freedom?
Where are you now?
Who’s the lucky one who’s meeting with you this day. Tell me!
Who is it?
I need to know!
It was good when you are around.
But now it’s bad without you here.
My head and heart are crushed.
My shoulders no longer hold up my head.

I am now out from underneath the whip of doubt and fear.
I can see you standing,
with your love lying in your arms,
which you offer to me!
Me,
who is a mere man.
You are my angel.
I can now see us going through the eternities together.


Aug 23 2015

‘The Girl In The Blue Dress…’ by Joseph Turner

DLB

Continue reading


Aug 23 2015

Trapped by Liz Higgins

DLB

She stood on the beach, her bare feet covered with fine sand. One hand was on her hip; the other hand lay along her dress. It was the dress that attracted my attention. A bright blue, in vivid contrast to her tanned skin, it swirled around her body, moving as the slight breeze caught it. Her brown hair was fastened at the nape of her neck with a dark brown clasp. Wispy tendrils escaped as the breeze picked up. She was there every day. I wondered who she was waiting for.
I picked up my pen and jotted down some ideas. Was she waiting for a man, or did she revel in the solitude of her time on the beach? Was she a summer visitor? I’ve never seen her in winter, I wrote. I parted the curtains a bit more. She was so still, she enticed me, and fired my imagination. I felt a story forming.
I longed to go down to the beach and meet her, but I was trapped in my cottage. Alec was at work, so I was alone.I hit one arm of my wheelchair with my clenched fist. I felt pain. At least I could still feel pain in my upper body. It was my legs that were useless. And my horse, my beautiful black stallion, was dead. He broke his leg when he threw me off. They had to shoot him. It was in recovery that I started writing again. It helped me learn to live in my changed world. My story took shape…
Lydia scuffed her feet in the sand. She stared anxiously out to sea. She could feel her hair escaping from the clasp, but she didn’t care. He was late today. His excuse was always believable, but little tendrils of doubt tugged at the edges of her mind. She wished she could trust him, the way a child trusts a parent.
But she was not a child. It was the right time to tell him her secret, and watch his face change. Slowly she turned towards the sea. She could hear the putt-putt of the engine on his boat. Louder and louder it grew, and the speck she saw on the sea became bigger. Roderick stood at the tiller, confident in his ability to control his boat. One arm raised in greeting, he called out to her, but the wind stole his words away.
She moved on to the hard sand near the water’s edge. He’s so handsome, she thought, then blushed at the direction her thoughts were taking her.
“Hello, dear Lydia. Sorry I’m late. I got held up at work again.”
“That’s all right, Roderick.”
He pulled the boat up on to the shore, while she stood watching him. Her fear of drowning kept her prisoner. (Like me in my wheelchair, I thought.)
“Any news?”
“Yes, dear, very important news.”
“And that is?”
“I’m not sure how to tell you.”
“Just say the words.”
“All right. I’m…I’m pregnant.”
“What?”
She studied his face. First it showed surprise, then disbelief, followed by a huge grin.
“You don’t mind, then?  I know we didn’t plan it yet, but…”
“No, of course not. I’m delighted.”
He swooped her into the air, and gently put her down on the sand.
“I suppose we’d better get married,” Roderick said.
“Yes, that would be best.”
He knelt at her feet.
“Lydia, will you marry me?”
“Yes, oh yes, my dearest.”
They kissed, a long, lingering kiss, and walked along the beach, their arms wrapped around each other…
I put the pen down, and read my story through. A title lurked at the back of my mind. I called the story ‘Love Child.’  Slowly, I wheeled myself to the window. The girl in the blue dress had gone. I sighed. closed my eyes, and dreamed of better days.