New Zealand Related Poems

(and others}

 

The NZ Bush

The forest spoke with secret sound
A whispered hush both still and clear
Communion and peace around
That those more unfamiliar fear
I stood amidst cool and languid air
And heard sweet voices far and near
Low, asking me to join in prayer

The trunks of totara towered forth
With hinau, mangiau, nikau, pines
I turned each way then faced the north
Surrounded by a mass of vines
A morepork joined us in our prayer
With stronger voice but fewer lines
We spoke for all the creatures there

I quite forgot 'bout time and space
No urgency came to my mind
A peaceful member of my race
I prayed for others of my kind
Too busy, most of them to see
With profiteering on their mind
To be at one with forest-tree

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POHUTUKAWA

I think perhaps I'll never see
A more magnificent a tree
Than our pohutukawa on display
With gorgeous blooms each Christmas Day.

Those dangling roots in search will cling
To cliff or rocks or anything
And nature put this gem so long ago
Where other trees just couldn’t grow.

Thus in pohutukawa’s ancient past
A gene had formed to make it last
And claim today triumphantly
That it’s New Zealand’s Christmas-tree.

+

Our nephew, Mark, a company rep. and a very keen trout fisherman, went to live in Rotorua, New Zealand's thermal wonderland, which also has some of the best trout fishing in the world. I wrote this little verse on a 'Welcome to Your New Home Card'. Obviously, Mark is equipped with a 'Hardy' trout rod.
 

ROTORUA AWAITS YOU

‘Mark, my words’ are full of praise
You’ll now enjoy those leisure days
With all those pools just full of trout
You’ll be so keen to pull them out

But don’t forget your dad’s gone green
With envy like you’ve never seen
And Molly, too, is near the same
‘Why should Mark have all the game?

I hope you’ll not forget your kin
When you have safely settled in
With two more bedrooms up your sleeve
( Some may come but - never leave ! ! )

‘cause when you’re gone for days on end
It’s surely then you need a friend
To guard your fridge all full of trout
We’d all do that when you are out

So may the lakes and many streams
Fulfill with joy your wildest dreams
May rainbows rise but never end
And HARDYs then will be your friend

+

Quail

New Zealand had once a little brown quail
And native, it was, without a tail
It wasn’t shot at by men with a gun
And looked a bit like the Australian one
It died out before the white man came
And so it escaped the sportsman’s game
So how do we know there was such a specie?
We found it as fossils but it wasn't easy
+

Pukeko

Advise to small Children

Pukeko is a New Zealand rail
That’s mostly black and flicks its tail
Survives quite well inspite of man
Though other creatures no longer can

She seems to walk with utter ease
Across the swamp and through the trees
She makes her nest on weeds and bog
And sometimes underneath a log

Her lengthy toes are reason why
She doen’t sink and keeps so dry
If weeds give way she doesn’t care
She flaps her wings and takes to air

She’s tough and shy and rarely harmed
But shrieks and shrieks when she’s alarmed
She’ll pluck your plants from garden plot
And runs the risk of being shot

If you would like one as a pet
You’ll not avoid the cold and wet
If wading swamps to see her eggs
You’ll need to have much longer legs

+

The Moa

The moa was the largest bird
Its height was great and quite absurd
It poked its head above the trees
And couldn't reach to scratch its knees
In grief it waited for distinction
But sadly went into extinction
Now had the maori practiced fasting
The moa may have been,- well,- everlasting

Trees

I hope that I shall never see
A land that does not grow a tree
For if it had a tree before
Then probably t'was man had made it poor
 
I hope that I shall live to see
That land all planted forestry
For when it has its trees in store
It will be rich for ever more


+
 

Weta

What a variety of wetas there are
All in a family called, orthoptera
Some have long legs and keep out of sight
Some live in caves and never see light
All, it appears, are divest of wings
And there isn’t a weta I know of that sings
Their legs rubbed together produces a sound
And some people run when weta’s around
Or hop-in-terror
When near an or-thop-tera

+

Plastic Obituary

Here lie the bones of Bertrum Grace
the king of plastic wraps was he
Enfolded now in Earth’s embrace
Disintergrating wrapidly
in this his vinyl resting place

+

What’s Beating Watts

It’s in the garden, front and back
There’s no where to escape,
Ones home is not sound-proof
To shut the doors and windows
And draw the curtains
Is simply useless
The noise will penetrate it’s certain
Like every other man made uncontrolled pollution
The perpetrator seems oblivious
We’re desparate for solution
His agitated neighbours all around
suffer tannoy towers
Blasting forth both day and night
For hours and hours
It seems to me these phonies
think they’re faultless
When all they are is absolutely incredibly thoughtless
Do they in their excess
land of decibel
Not realise that others cringe
in this sub-woofer hell?

+

To Hell or Bust
Written 1973
 

Man leaps with optimistic abandonment
upon the springboard of the earth
While careless of the presence there of other species
which are forced to yield to his reciprocations
His endless pounding casts pulsating shadows
regulated only by the greed of
each and every dancer
But though sustained exuberance has surely brought
a trinket type reward
This materialistic inspired revelry may overwhelm
Kind nature’s benefactions

The springboard when observed by those who care to halt
their mad cavort and use their eyes instead
Will find it yields the warnings that are long preserved
within the fossil rocks
One can see remains of ancient forests
on land that’s now reduced to desert
Or noble beasts annihilated from the surface of the earth
which once had nurtured them
Or evidence of ice-ages that many times advanced across
Established ecological communities and simply wiped them out

Nature gives and just as surely takes. And it may follow
that forcing yeald beyond a tolerant rate
will cause a recompense
A metamorphosis so immoderate that man
beast and plant may never again
exist in simple comfort.
Should this reaction soon begin I fear that man’s
comprehending of it will offer very puny
counteraction to it.

+

Farmyard Observations

The rooster crows the day to wake
Too early, to be sure
But hens will wait for day to break
Then sing their ova-ture

The cows rise early from their bed
And make toward the gate
No calves await them at the shed
But lacking love, lac-tate.

+

THE FIRE, THE DREAM

It was only a dream.
12,000 miles away from the action
An event so remote and not communicated
But the house I knew and the people I knew;
All but one.
Six children where there, not five.
The stranger was a brother
I have no doubt of that
He stood at the end of the row
younger than his sister
And she during the drama left his side
and went to clutch her eldest brother's hand

The old upright piano stood silent
on the side verandah
On the left of the door to the lounge
The smoke blacker than the night
Belched out from roofing iron
Trying to lift it from its purlins
The children in a row stood silent
Numbed, helpless.

The flames visible in the kitchen
through the window along from the piano
were in uncontrolable frenzy
they seemed to force the smoke straight up
in order to make way to devour more
The large wooden house was their quarry
and they the insatiable glutton

Suddenly she came from the lounge
The mother I knew long dead
The children had seen her too
The girl took a step forward but
her brother's hand held firm
She knew, they all knew she was from the grave
She hurried to the long piano stool
And she played her piano

She was every composer who ever was
Her compulsion no doubt to exhaust
her instrument in
what little time there was left
She played music I cannot name
She was Liszt, she was Gershwin among so many
She blended melody with melody in
power and vivid vitality

The flames broke through the wall
to the lounge but the piano as yet was safe
The heat though would soon seer the
old pollish on the cabinet before
it burst into flames
But miraculously the notes rang out
In ever mounting crescendo
As if defying the flame's fury.

Her children looked on
I stood nearer to the garden fence
some few steps behind them
It was only a dream.
And they could not know I was there
They in time were nearer 1942
Whilst my dream was nearer1982
And I was aware of this time warp

The corrugated iron red twisted yealded
Smoke broke past it in explosive gusts
The small boy I did not know
then vanished. He was gone.
The mother still played on
Her strength ever increasing
When the fire engulfed the bedrooms
It would soon be out of fuel

Then the flames found the piano
They licked along the polished lid
Reaching for the sound beneath
And still she played on and on and on
The lid twisted flame red
And the sound burst forth in new release
The hammers fanned across their invader
But soon one by one they crumbled
The front panel glowed in the eyes of the mother
Whilst the piano's action was consumed
She stood up quickly at her silence
And turned to face her audience
I do nor know if she saw them
But I think she did

Now that the sound was gone
The fire was quit of its annoyance
It now could concentrate on its purpose
The children watched their mother
As she turned and walked in the door
to the lounge that was glowing red and black
What an entrance, and what an exit.

The music lingered on ‘til I awoke
The whole drama was etched in my
conscious mind, I would not forget
Why did I dream this dream? I thought
Me, here in Devon, England
Twelve thousand miles away
Yet years later I learned that the fire had happened
And I was shaken

The homestead had served them well
The generations that had gone.
But Shakespear knew these things
“There is more in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,
he had said. How could I not agree?

This event is not the only time in my life that a dream had come true. However, it is the only one that inspired me to write it down within minutes of my waking up.

+

Man’s Dominion

When settlers came from overseas
Overwhelmed, they were, by trees
Like nothing else they’d ever seen
For most of them where evergreen

It wasn’t long before they tried
To make the landscape countryfied
They burned the bush and planted grass
The scar might show- but time would pass

Besides the cattle, sheep and horse
The predators where brought in force
They introduced for sake of sport
The animals that could be caught

To hunt and shoot and fish and snare
They brought the rabbit, deer and hare
And very soon the people found
Erosion, rocks and barren ground

The deer ringbarked the forest trees
That died as though they had disease
The goat came later on the scene
And ringbarked where the deer’d not been

The rare and tender little plants
Most succulent inhabitants
No one, then, assessed their worth
They disappeared right off the earth

With ignorance and greed they came
And mankind now is just the same
We’re losing species year by year
So at that rate they’ll disappear

AND SO WILL WE

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The Obituary of a Genealogist

(Pending, of course)

Here lie the bones of a Hardy whose tree
Is now in a book for others to see
He searched all the world for those of his name
But alas doesn't share Thos. Hardy's great fame
And though there's a record of all he has found
He's now joined them all in this hallowed ground
Those ancestors all have been and they've gone
And though he is dust his children live on
Record if you will these words I have penned
I'm happy to say that my line doesn't end.

Not yet, anyway.
So
I leave you with this question
Will science and technology one day tell us
How many generations it is
back to the beginning of
human existence?

If that is achievable, then
I believe it incumbent upon science and technology
to also guarantee the preservation and
continuance of at least the same
number of generations existing
in the future?

+

Fishing Story
 

A fisherman called John-o-Mandam

Saw two fish upon a tandem

He shoved his rod between their spokes

And should you think I’m telling jokes

I have his word that he did landem

+

MY VIEW

- Written while at a writer’s group meeting when asked to compose eight lines in 5 minutes -

I’m really averse to composing verse
That’s wanted in limited time
I’m liable to curse and feel very terse
Which is not conjusive to rhyme

Inspired from the heart with all time apart
Is the way that my art is extended
So if I'm to start on something like art
You’ll find it abruptly ended...........

Limerick Time

The Answer at last as to Who was Anon?
 

Years ago a young poet named Swann
Whom critics would oft put upon
Was disgusted, so then
With a stroke of his pen
His cygneture changed to Annon

+

Toucan

There was a young fellow of Lucan
Who studied the life of the toucan
Which wouldn’t survive
If one were alive
But found that certainly two can

+

New Zealand Bittern

Hark to the boom of the bittern
Who acts like one that is smitten
It’s said that it will
Stay perfectly still
And much prefers standin' to sittin'

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Father, ab-out that Vestment

There once was a thieving old abbot
Who saw a fine gown and did grab it
But Mother Superior
Said “you’ve no career ’ere
Unless you get out of that habit

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New Zealand Gecho

Somebody it seems chased a gecko
To almost as far as Te Teko
But that lucky lizard
Escaped in a blizzard
And all that was heard was his echo

The Maori language is often difficult for overseas people to pronounce. At least 'Te Teko' should no longer be a problem. If it is please don't blame me.

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Gane

A seafaring family called Gane
Gave birth to their sons on the main
One married a banker
Who tripped on the anchor
And ruined a link in the chain

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The Vicar

There is a young vicar who teaches
Himself, his sermons and speeches
Repeatedly reading
With virtue succeeding
By practising all that he preaches

+

The Motions

There was a young man with a notion
He’d like to swim out in the ocean
His efforts were pure
as he rounded the sewer
And proved that he’d gone through the motions

+

My Grandson Glynn,

in Reference to his lovely little nightmare twin sisters

There was a young student named Glynn
Who said there's a terrible din
He thought, by the chorus
'tis tyrannosaurus
Or maybe the twins with an old violin

+

My Grand-daughter

Courtney Ann

1
There was a young lady called Courtney Ann
Who said to her parents I have a plan
I’m off to the moon
One day very soon
Please make me a kite as soon as you can

2
I’ll head towards Venus or maybe to Mars
And bring back some diamonds in old coffee jars
I’ll go there direct
And soon I’ll collect
Great handfuls of beautiful stars

Well, what do you expect from an amateur cosmologist's grand-daughter?

- And -

Who said that Limericks were trash?????

There was a strange poet called Lear
Whose limericks are really quite queer
It's really absurd, to repeat the same word
Why he did it is really not clear
Unless you are saying dear oh dear



I have this strange notion, which perhaps others have had, that Edward Lear wrote his limericks for others to glean pleasure in editing them. Surely there was no other reason why he should have ruined the opportunity of writing a far better last line to end such splendid work on the first four.

With this challenge in mind and with the cheek of the devil I decided to compose new last lines for some of these limericks. Strangely, it wasn't difficult, so perhaps I have exposed a little more of the genius of the man, Edward Lear. The italic lines are mine.
 
 

There was an Old Man of Coblenz
The length of whose legs was immense,
He went with one prance, From Turkey to France
And truly his knees didn't benz
That surprising Old Man of Coblenz

There was an old man of Peru
Who watched his wife making stew
But once by mistake, in a stove she did bake
This meal that no-one could chew.
That unfortunate man of Peru

There was a young lady of Bute
Who played on a silver-gilt flute
She played several jigs, to her uncles white pigs
Whose dancing was really quite cute
That amusing young lady of Bute
 

There was an old man of Leghorn
The smallest as ever was born
But quickly snapped up he, was once by a puppy
Who munched on his bones until dawn
Who devoured that old man of Leghorn

There was an old man of Kilkenny
Who never had more than a penny
He spent all that money, on onions and honey
And went away home without any
That wayward old man of Kilkenny
 

There was an old person of Chester
Whom several small children did pester
They threw some large stones, which broke most of his bones
Which sadly all started to fester
And displeased that old person of Chester

There was an old man of Corfu
Who never knew what he should do
So he rushed up and down,’till the sun made him brown
And sent him to bed with the flu
That bewildered old man of Corfu
 

There was an old man of the Isles
Whose face was pervaded with smiles
He sung high-dum-diddle, and played on the fiddle
And everyone heared him for miles
That amiable man of the Isles
 

There was an old person of Rheims
Who was troubled with horrible dreams
So, to keep him awake, they fed him with cake
All mixed with beautiful creams
Which amused that old person of Rheims
 

There was an old man of the west
Who wore a pale plum-coloured vest
When they said ‘Does it fit?’ He said ‘Not a bit!
I’ll never wear this one as best’.
That uneasy old man of the west.
 

There was an old man of the Dee
Who was sadly annoyed by a flea;
When he said ‘I will scratch it’, - they gave him a hatchet
To cut off his legs at the knee
Which grieved that old man of the Dee
 

There was an old man whose repose
Consisted in warming his toes
When they said, 'Are they done?' He answered, 'What fun!
Are they really offending your nose?'
Do you think I'm a'cooking my toes?'

There was an old man whose despair
Induced him to purchase a bear
He played on some trumpets, and fed upon crumpets
And strangely the bear didn't care
Which rather assuaged his despair

+

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A very sad man of Toulouse
Whose wife had a very short fuse
Got sick of the blasting
That seemed everlasting
So headed away on a cruise

There was an old man of Dartmoor
Whose coughing was making his heart sore
He took many pills - to temper his ills
Resulting in making him fart more

original
David Calder Hardy
 

Well, that's this page anyway. You will notice that some of these ramblings are child friendly. The reason is simple; the young are the future impact upon our planet........
But leave me out of it I didn't plan-it. Search this site

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