Monthly Archives: August 2013

Writing a story in 15 minutes (or less)

Zee Southcombe

At my writing group this week we had a unique challenge presented to us. We were to create a piece of short fiction with a specific format & theme, and five words that must be included. Melanie gave me the criteria on the left. And all this in 15 minutes or less – it’s like the 48hour Film Fest all over again, and left me realising that I’m capable of more than I thought I was. Awesome feeling.

Umm, why? You see, we are hosting a table at the West Auckland Books & Writers Festival (September 7th, for anyone in Auckland who can make it), and we our selling our soulsstories – on demand.

Customers will have control over some aspects of the story (see the photo for more details), and then we’ll have about 15 minutes to get a story, poem, or something completely different out.

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An afterthought for National Poetry Day
by Isa O’Kane

At the dry end of summer

In the Waitakere skies

A drunken Kereru lazily flies.

It feeds on fruit overripe and fermented

Little does it know it will soon be the lamented.

It sees a window and blue the other side.

an imminent fate when the bird does collide

Its neck is broken, its feathers a mess

and for all that there is one bird less.

Book Review: The Lifeguard: Poems 2008-2013, by Ian Wedde

Melanie’s review of The Lifeguard:

This book is available in bookstores now and is a finalist in the Poetry category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards.LIFEGUARD_ART

‘You have to start somewhere / in these morose times …
begins Ian Wedde’s poetry collection The Lifeguard. And he begins with a cycle of poems about said, albeit symbolic, lifeguard, sitting up on the towering chair overlooking New Zealand’s coastlines – past, present and future – while dipping his feet in Greek mythology. You can almost smell the coast in these poems.

The two parts that follow – ‘Help!’ and ‘The look’ – still see the poet observing from a more or less stationary position, exploring the fragrant and the sensual.  Wedde weaves his grandchildren into his poetry, creating a common memory.

Next is a group of elegies on the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who died in 2008. Wedde spent some time travelling in the…

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For Courtney

by Candice Yallop
(a pantoum poem)

She was born yesterday
Perfect little girl not meant for our world
Carried for nine months warm and secure
Surviving only twelve hours in the maternity ward

Perfect little girl not meant for our world
The left side of her heart too small
Surviving only twelve hours in the maternity ward
Making us all value and question life

The left side of her heart too small
Carried for nine months warm and secure
Making us all value and question life
She died today, 26 years ago.

The Stranger

by Zee Southcombe

The earth was red; a burnt auburn,
And the shrubbery growing from this earth that was almost

Bursting with life.

The whole forest glowed with soft, bright moss
That clung tightly to rocks, and trees; Oh, the trees!
They danced

Willing us to join them.

The collection of strangers, forced together in some
Twisted scheme.
A conversation, barely, a collision of ideals, desperately

For someone like me.

Call it winter or call it summer’s rest

by Doris Evans

Snow falls all over the world;
Nature is dying,
no flowers, no leaves, not grass to see.

I can hear no wind, no rain,
I only feel the emptiness of snow
going down to earth,
covering anything down on its way.
quiet and calm, without a cry.

Call it winter or call it summer’s rest,
but feel the pain of saying goodbye.
Good-bye to summer, sun and joy.

I present myself to you

by Josie Stanford

I crouch in the tall grass
I present myself to you

A ladybird lands on my thumb
I present myself to you

I can hear the breeze rattling through bare branches
I present myself to you

One day the trees will block the road noise at the boundary
I present myself to you

The rowan tree has grown; the leaves are lush, the berries ripe
I present myself to you

How the years have passed; things are different, and yet the same.
Always, I present myself to you

As a cloud shifts to reveal the first sun of the day
I crouch at your grave
I present myself to you