"Tutukaka" and "Golems" were published in Takahē 76, the Spring 2012 issue. Takahē is a non-profit organisation based in the region where I live, and published a range of essays, stories, poetry and art reviews. The two poems I published in Takahē 76 were quite different from each other -- one focuses on the experiences of being a North American and an ex-pat in New Zealand. In the other, I think I was taking a walk in the part one day, and reflecting how busy everyone else looked, the business people on their lunch breaks. Visit Takahēhere.
I remember writing "Black Magic Woman" quite vividly. It was a bright day in the middle of Spring, and I was living at that time in the countryside north of Christchurch, NZ. I was sitting outside one of my favorite café's, the sort of old-villa-converted-into-a-café-café. The poem came suddenly, clearly, and for the most part, all at once. I call these sorts of poems my "character poems" -- sometimes the characters come back in the form of short stories, and other times, such as in this case, they are quite happy to remain in their poem. Visit Semaphore Magazine here.
"The Tree of Life" was published in Poetry NZ 41 in 2010. Once again, it was a poem that came all at once, in a burst of excitement, imagination and barely legible notes. I can't tell you what it's about -- love of nature, books, learning, growing. I put it all in there. In addition, I was always interested in Genesis from the Old Testament, and often play around with the idea of being able to re-write dark, unfriendly passages there. Visit Poetry NZ here.
"Hansel and Gretel" is a reflection of one of my passions: fairy tales. Hansel and Gretel in particular is a tale that has stayed with my throughout my life. Why that is, I am not sure. Perhaps because the forest is such a powerful symbol. Maybe because we all feel like lost children, sometimes, trying to make trails of breadcrumbs. What made this fairy tale so sad for me was that Hansel and Gretel, in many versions, did not know that their step-mother (in the oldest versions, their actual mother) tried to abandon them in the woods. Like many fairy tales, it's a reflection of dark times in Europe's history, when leaving children was perhaps the only way for a family to survive. Voiceprints 3 was an anthology published by the Canterbury Poet's Collective.