Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Tuesday Poem: "Three Limericks: Auckland, Tekapo and Wellington" by Daniella Judge


An abundance of sky scrapers
Tiny corner stores selling ice breakers
Auckland is so shit
Who can survive it?
Airport littered with white traders

(Poet's comment: "This poem is about Auckland and the fact that I don’t like it."


Lupins line the Tekapo road
A skiing town, worth a change of zip code
Star gazing, hot pools and a lake
Lets go, lets go for a break
Jump in! and join our car load

(Poet's comment: "I’ve had really good memories in Tekapo and thinks it’s a great place to take a group of friends."


The glimmer and gleam of Wellington
Living there you'd hate to be bedridden
People with funky style
Wearing every textile
Eating food that would win on Hells Kitchen

(Poet's comment: "This poem is about how I likes the funky clothing styles in Wellington and how the food there is really great."

by Daniella Judge

Daniella Judge is a charming and delightful young woman whom I met at the monthly Catalyst Open Mic (first Wednesday of every month at Space Academy, 371 Saint Asaph Street, Central City, Christchurch).

Daniella is a Masters of Writing student at the University of Canterbury and hosts a radio show, The Paperback Loop, on RDU 98.5FM on Tuesdays, 9:30-11pm, talking all things books. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Tuesday Poem (song): "Man of Sorrow" by Sing Sing

TECHNICAL HITCH: Try as I might, I could not get the video to embed so the best I can do is give readers the YouTube link if they wish to view the accompanying video. Thank you for your internet patience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XvReL3wXqQ

In the shadow of day I'm feeling so bright and lonely,
In the harsh light of dawn I'm feeling so bright and lonely,
Lost the trust inside me, became like brittle wire,
The lizard sheds its skin and I don't feel entire

And in the shadow of day
when the night rolls away
with the breath of the dawn
I see my face pale and drawn, pale and drawn

Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow

And as we scratch through the day,
I fold my troubles away,
You walk away to the sun,
We finish what we've begun, we've begun

Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow

(Lead break)

Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow,
Leaving a man of sorrow

by Bell, Chung, Daly, Roxburgh and Scott

For more information about the rock band, Sing Sing, see:

Auckland-based Rock Band, Sing Sing, were active from 1984-1986. This track was from their eponymous 5-Track EP. This track was chosen to be filmed by Television New Zealand for two separate TV shows - the late-Sunday-night-screened, Radio With Pictures, hosted at the time by Karyn Hay, media broadcaster and, in later years, author. The second clip of the same song was filmed in Auckland at the studios of the TV show, Shazam, which went out in the late afternoon and was aimed more at a teenage demographic. Shazam's host at the time was Phillipa Dann. Phillipa also interviewed the band extensively for her Rock Music column which was published in the tabloid newspaper, the NZ Truth, which, according to Wikipedia, ceased production in July 2013. Sing Sing produced a second 3-song EP titled "Owning the Sharks" before disbanding in September 1986 due to the death of the drummer, Ken Chung's, father. Sing Sing did audition other drummers, but never found one with the right musical chemistry for the band. Ken Chung and bass player, Patrick Roxburgh, had been playing as a rhythm section for years. Pat and Ken teamed up with Andrew Bell, vocalist and lyricist, and Nick Scott on guitar. Andrew and Nick had been playing together in a Coromandel-based band called Godzilla (not a metal band but they came to rue that choice of band name because of the monster-metal associations) from 1980-1983 when they relocated to Auckland. Godzilla had done very well in a Battle of the Bands competition held at Mainstreet cabaret/rock venue in Auckland. That year the Battle of the Bands was won by The Gurlz with Kim Willoughby out front and second was The Skeptics, a post-punk noise band from Palmerston North. Sing Sing recorded the first EP at Last Laugh studios run by Martin Williams and Jon Cooper. The second EP was engineered and produced by both Jon Cooper at Last Laugh and Steve Garden at Progressive Studios. Sadly, both Last Laugh and Progressive Studios are no longer going concerns. Both Sing Sing EPs were released by Ode Records with Ode Records owner, Terence O'Neill Joyce, doing the Chinese Calligraphy (which said Sing Sing) on the first eponymous EP. The Sing Sing EP was released in 1985 and its follow-up, "Owning the Sharks", was released in 1986. The second EP received much positive critical press, especially its feature track, "Backwards", which was praised by Colin Hogg writing in the Auckland Star (now sadly also defunct). Particular mention was made of the wonderful sax solo by featured saxophonist, Ricky. Sing Sing, having disbanded by the second EPs release, were unable to capitalise on its sales and positive press for building their live audience. Pat Roxburgh sang the lead vocal on the track, "Stardust" from this second EP, "Owning the Sharks. In the latter stages of recording the first EP in 1984-1985, Sing Sing decided to fatten their sound so Chris Daly was added to the line-up. Chris brought with him a different but complementary guitar style to Nick Scott and the two traded places as both rhythm and lead guitars. Chris also fattened the sound in the studio with his keyboard and vocal skills. All members of Sing Sing, excluding the vocally-shy Nick Scott, sang backing vocals on various tracks. The track, "Killing Time", from the first EP even featured a five-part harmony backing vocal from Andrew, Ken, Chris, Pat and engineer, Martin Williams. The talented Rowan Hunt, also an engineer at Last Laugh recording studio, played the keyboards on the track, "Killing Time", ". Martin Williams had valuable input into the first EP and, as well as engineering the tracks, he is credited as co-producer with the band. Martin, as well as being a skilled drummer and engineer, was also a member of the woefully-shortlived Auckland band, the Grammar Boys, who had a major label album release. Martin Williams brought his day job engineering at Harlequin Studios, a 24-track studio, into his passion project, his own studios, co-owned with Jon Cooper, Last Laugh, an 8-track recording studio. Last Laugh was a more affordable option for independent Auckland bands and Martin's skill and keen ear brought warmth and "fatness" to tracks that may have got lost or sounded tinny in a bigger studio. Eight tracks meant thinking more innovatively and Martin certainly did that as did Jon Cooper. Both were invaluable as engineers and soundscape creators for bands such as Sing Sing. After Sing Sing's demise, a newish songwriting partnership sprang up between Andrew Bell and Pat Roxburgh who co-wrote and recorded two more tracks at Last Laugh. The tracks, "Shame" and "The Spark", remain unreleased and the Analogue Masters are presumably lost to the ether or some skip somewhere in downtown Auckland circa 1987-1990. The only remaining copies of these 2 tracks are on cassette (old-style technology, folks) owned by Andrew Bell and, presumably, also Pat Roxburgh.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Tuesday Poem: "The Thing" by Louise Wallace

I need to find the thing I am good at.
I have something wonderful inside,
waiting to be said. It has not been easy.
Spanish guitar, cake design, lyrics for lullabies.
I really shine at nothing.
It needs to come smoother than this -
the way water flowing through wood
would feel, if you put a hand to it.

I saw the cover of Gillian Welch's latest album
in the Sunday paper. Immediately I knew
this was the kind of beauty I would aim for.
Something that makes normal people
feel worse about their lives.

by Louise Wallace

For more information about the poet, Louise Wallace, see:

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Tuesday Poem: "Hard Times" by William Carlos Williams

Stone steps, a solid
block too tough
to be pried out, from
which the house,

rather, has been
avulsed leaving
a pedestal, on which
a fat boy in

an old overcoat, a
butt between
his thick lips, the
coat pushed back,

stands kidding,
Parking Space! three
steps up from his
less lucky fellows.

by William Carlos Williams 

For more information about the poet, William Carlos Williams, see:

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Tuesday Poem: (Song) "New Test Leper" by R.E.M.


I can't say that I love Jesus
That would be a hollow claim
He did make some observations
And I'm quoting them today
"Judge not lest ye be judged"
What a beautiful refrain
The studio audience disagrees
Have His lambs all gone astray?
Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper
"You are lost and disillusioned"
What an awful thing to say
I know this show doesn't flatter
It means nothing to me
I thought I might help them understand
What an ugly thing to see
"I am not an animal"
Subtitled under the screen
Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper
When I tried to tell my story
They cut me off to take a break
I sat silent five commercials
I had nothing left to say
Talk show host was index-carded
All organized and blank
The other guests were scared and hardened
What a sad parade
What a sad parade
Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper

by R.E.M.

For more information about R.E.M. see:

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Tuesday Poem: "Late Song" by Lauris Edmond

It's a still morning, quiet and cloudy
the kind of grey day I like best;
they'll be here soon, the little kids first,
creeping up to try and frighten me,
then the tall young men, the slim boy
with the marvellous smile, the dark girl
subtle and secret; and the others,
the parents, my children, my friends --

and I think: these truly are my weather
my grey mornings and my rain at night,
my sparkling afternoons and my birdcall at daylight;
they are my game of hide and seek, my song
that flies from a high window. They are
my dragonflies dancing on silver water.

Without them I cannot move forward, I am
a broken signpost, a train fetched up on
a small siding, a dry voice buzzing in the ears;
for they are also my blunders
and my forgiveness for blundering,
my road to the stars and my seagrass chair
in the sun. They fly where I cannot follow

and I -- I am their branch, their tree.
My song is of the generations, it echoes
the old dialogue of the years; it is the tribal
chorus that no one may sing alone. 

by Lauris Edmond

For more information about poet, Lauris Edmond, see:


Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Tuesday Poem: (Song) "Down in Splendour" by Andrew Brough


Hey, down in splendour
Join the slide
Standing on the seashore
And the tide
Comes rolling through your eyes
You've got no place to go
Comes rolling through your mind
You've got no one to know

Hey, down in splendour
Take a bow
Blinded in the white light
And the crowd
Die slowly in your arms
You're left to lie alone

And save your face of changing colour
And your smile of fading colour
'Cause you'll never know another
Who will give you ever after

And you shouldn't have to say goodbye
And wonder if this way is how
It's gonna be
And you shouldn't have to say goodbye
And wonder if this way is how
It's gonna be

And save your face of changing colour
And your smile of fading colour
'Cause you'll never know another
Who will give you ever after

And you shouldn't have to say goodbye
And wonder if this way is how
It's gonna be
And you shouldn't have to say goodbye
And wonder if this way is how
It's gonna be
And you shouldn't have to say goodbye
And wonder if this way is how
It's gonna be.

by Andrew Brough

For more information about songwriter, Andrew Brough, see: