Friday, July 30, 2010

NZ National Poetry Day - Aotearoa b/w Poetry's Hooks

Hello Poetry Lovers,

I got so excited about National Poetry Day that I'm posting not one but two poems! Kind of like the old vinyl 7" single, with one poem being the B-side.


Have you ever stood,
craning your neck to look up into the canopy
of the ancient kauri, Tane Mahuta,
while peace and birdsong permeate your soul?

Have you ever felt
the crusty spray and the satanic whiff
as the Pohutu geyser shoots aloft
while a dozen languages bubble through te reo?

Have you ever shivered
in the receding darkness,
standing in the china-white sand as you waited
for the first sunrise over Makorori Beach?

Have you ever sat
on the summit of Mt Taranaki
and eaten a well-deserved sandwich
while cows grazed far below on the lush, volcanic-rich pasture?

Have you ever experienced
that mixture of fear and awe
as an orca’s dorsal breached beside your too-fragile kayak
in the shining waters of the Abel Tasman?

Have you ever paused
atop a ski run on Coronet Peak
and reflected on the reflections
of sunlight dancing on snow and water? 

Have you ever felt sorry
for tourism chiefs and advertising creatives
trapped in offices in the Auckland CBD
dreaming up “100% Pure” and “Clean and Green”?

Ó Andrew M. Bell


It is an ancient Poet
and he stoppeth me.
“Beware of poetry, my son,
She’s a gold digger.
She’ll chew you up and spit you out,
leave you penniless and lying in a gutter,
drunk on absinthe,
while the rich novelists and scriptwriters
step over you, laughing.”

“Hold off! unhand me, greybeard loon!”
Unheeding, I slunk off to my garret
to compose a villanelle,
heavily derivative of Dylan Thomas.
I only wanted to get girls,
but before I knew it
I was roaming with the Romantics,
bopping with the Beats
and cruising with the Classicists.
Popping some Pope, shooting some Stevie Smith
or hitting up Heaney,
I was hopelessly addicted.
And I never did get the girl.

Ó Andrew M. Bell

For more poetry on National Poetry Day, visit:


  1. Andrew,

    Really enjoyed both the 'A' and 'B' sides, but particularly the 'flavour' of the first with the little sting in the tail.

  2. I like your humour, Andrew - and especially the bopping rhythm, dialogue and way you play with language in poem 2. I love 'Popping some Pope, shooting some Stevie Smith...' great stuff.