KUPU, part two

Looking through my photographs from recent times I realised I forgot to post more photographs of KUPU, the ‘poetry off the page’ installation which I did in the Palmerston North City Library with fellow local poet, Leonel Alvarado.

First installment was back HERE, when they had only installed one poem.

Here are some photographs of the other poems. The poems are still up and will be left up until the vinyl letter starts deteriorating. (Or kids work out they can pick them off, lol!)

Glimpses of Leonel’s poems (his were harder to photograph in their entirety than mine):

kupu_9 kupu_8 kupu_7 kupu_6

And the other two of mine which I hadn’t shared with you yet:

kupu_5 kupu_3 kupu_2 KUPU_1


Taupo sk8 park

My youngest is into scooting, so I spend quite a bit of time at skate parks, sitting on my hands in order to stop myself picking up all the litter and looking even more like the Mum that I am. (Honestly, these kids drop the litter all around the very prominent rubbish bins. What’s with that? As teenage rebellions go, it’s a pretty feeble one.)

Anyway, we were recently in Taupo, so I took M to the skate park there and it had amazing street art all around the skate bowls. Here are some shots:

sk8_9 sk8_8 sk8_6 sk8_5 sk8_4 sk8_3 sk8_2 sk8_1

eye lollies

Here are some yummy things I’ve spotted around the place over the last coupla weeks.

My third sunflower finally bloomed on the weekend, making for a cheerful trio in the front yard. I like the way they look like they are guarding the corn crop…

PN’s newest public sculpture cuts a bright dash of colour on Cuba Street, complete with outdoor beanbags for sun-lounging…


A sweetly old-fashioned bunch of flowers my friend EMMA bought for me…



I love this street art on the side of the Youth Space in town:



This Foxton bach belongs to a friend of ours. She painted it this colour. It looks like a big marshmallow. I love it.



The David Merritt Experience

I met David Merritt late last year when a colleague introduced us. We had a coffee and talked poetry and chickens and politics and I was very impressed by his dry, self-effacing humour and sharp-as-a-tack brain. When you talk to David it isn’t like the tennis of usual conversation: my turn, your turn, my turn, your turn, in measured thwoks….it’s more like chasing a snake through the grass – sometime he is right there, present and gleaming and you’re close – so close! and then he slips off into some elusive (but usually hilarious) tangent and you’ve lost him again.

He’s a poet – a unique one, in that he makes small books out of the waste of other books (usually Reader’s Digest Condensed Classics which he rescues by the box-load from Dump shops because they don’t sell.) He tours the country, sitting on the street, making books, talking to people and selling his books out of a little wooden drawer ‘for the price of a good cup of coffee’.

Last night he ended his latest tour of the country in Palmerston North (he lives kind of near by in Mangamahu) so I went along and it was a grand evening out.

His performance is more ‘experience’ than typical reading, because he shuffles around the room, interacting with people so there is no illusion of the line between poet and audience, taking requests, talking and poking fun, laughing at himself and generally filling the space with his gentle, delightful presence and aroha.

The night reminded me of a parlour performance I attended by the incredible actor Warwick Broadhead – there was the same invitation to people (not literally, but invoked) to engage, to be more present in their lives, to challenge what they are being offered and turn it into something better.

The local ‘support’ act was Rob Thorne who does amazing things with Nga Taonga Puoru and effects pedals. Then David was accompanied by Chris Heazlewood (formerly of King Loser) on guitar playing incidental music between and behind the poems. The guitar playing was subtle and interesting and enhanced the poetry very well.

There is no doubt from his poetry that David is a romantic – nature is beautiful and pure, jobs are for sell-outs, the disenfranchised are heroic, relationships with women are either high-romance or hate – however, I am entirely susceptible to this manner of romance, so heartily enjoyed it and found myself crying at one of David’s ‘barbaric yawp’-style poems exhorting the reader to shoot him if he finds himself in a litany of deadening situations – the kind that probably most of the audience dwell – suburban housing, day jobs etc.

I had a great night and went home fizzy with ideas and inspiration. If the David Merritt Experience passes through your town – I reckon you should definitely make the effort go. It is entertaining, involving, funny, moving and much, much better than anything on the TV.


aro valley street art

I love street art and take photographs of it when I see it, because by its very nature it is of the moment and may well not be there the next time I pass by.

Some of the best street art in the country (in my humble opinion) is in Wellington. We have some great stuff in Palmerston North, too, which I will show you over the coming months – but everytime I go to Wellington I see street art that really knocks my socks off.

Here is some street art from a recent visit to Aro Valley, Wellington:

And this one is my favourite::

Rainbow wolves….ROWWWWRRRR!