Writing in Whangarei

Piet Nieuwland

The archaeology of wind

The archaeology of wind

Is a moment in the shape of a cloud

A style of humidity

An inflexion of temperature

The invisible colour of blue

And vectors that flower from crystals

Troupes of wings

Tissues on fine ribs

Algebras of curves

The geometries of curvature

Vibrations of laminar flows


Kicking it

The fields wind themselves
The fields walk into the moon
Get with what you’ve got
What you’ve got
The maps trickle mica plates
We fall into the trapezoidal air
The bright is darker
We’re all just doing what we can eh
We’re all just doing what we can eh
Walking back down to the base of the ladder
Kicking it
Kicking it


Blinded in the jungle

I am blinded in the jungle

Walking upon the photosynthetic

Dodging the ferns and low hanging branches

Hopping skip

Doing the bend down

Touch the wet soaking

Terpenes in lignin and cellulose

A braun blanquet on dipterocarps

A chi square measure of association


Take Flight 4 out now

Click on image to download PDF of Take Flight 4 featuring poems by Michelle Elvy, Piet Nieuwland, Aaron Robertson, Arthur Fairley, Jac Jenkins, Martin Porter and Vaughan Gunson.


Nga Parua 16

trembling archipelagos of birds

gusts and eddies of tribal gull calls

the sky populated

by a deluge of caressses

between black sheets

on fields of extinct lava

the silence of shadows

and the girl of honey who swims there

living in that tree

a glow of lunar light

she spreads out

under her skirt of tui

the fristion of lips

sleeping slips of minute lace dancing

in the marsh of night

perpetual triangles entangled


Puriri Moth Dreaming

by Piet Nieuwland

puriri moth dreaming
under a midnight moon

on ridgelines of obsidian
hangs the emerald cloth of spring

from te moananui a ranginui
floats a rainbow by moonlight

in this sacred night
clouds of kowhai in rivers of stars

the desires of our hearts
are moonbeams of puawhananga

at the dawn moon
a piwakawaka throws jewels of waiata

in the chaos of love
love is chaos dressed in kisses

*   *   * 

This poem is posted as part of the Aotearoa Affair Blog Carnival. It was written during a short stay at Opononi on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour, a singularly romantic place.  The puriri moth is a large black and green moth with characteristic patterns on its wings.  The moon was rising, a full moon.  The dreamtime is a spiritual connection to my ancestry, and the Hokianga has inspired that in me as a human living in Northland.  The poetry I write frequently comes from the places of Northland, and has been doing so for the last thirty years, although there is usually a connection to another part of the world or another culture.   Most of my poetry is love poetry but it is often disguised.  I love to play with the many varieties of language and what is revealed in translation from other cultures.   


William Macrae at Karikari December 2011

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

It is sweet to die for ones country – that’s the old lie according to the WW1 poem by Wilfred Owen.

William Macrae was a very busy man who loved the place he lived.

Many say, including Al, it is the greatest living place on earth.

It is the greatest working place on earth.

And now for William the greatest dying place on earth. 

William did die for his country.

He was not fighting on the fields of Flanders to which Wilfred Owens poem refers,
although in many ways the scene is not too much different –

fire, flame, fear, noise, explosions, terror, gases, smoke, falling embers

But he did die for what he believed in

Ranger Visitor Services Kaiarahi Taonga Manuhiri

Protecting this bloody amazing beautiful country
Piece of hot summer coastline crimson bloody red.

Piet Nieuwland