New Zealand Series

landscape nature mountain lake
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the spirit shore” 6.1.18

a journey starts one completes

diving off from upon the peak

to the homeland

in the sea

glancing back to those alive


“Thrive! Thrive! Thrive!

I will see you again

my brothers –

in due time”

fantail” 4/18/18

might I be a fantail

stopping on a line

beak snapping

right on time

unsuspecting fly

cup nest for my young

hunger chirps from eager tongues

DMK note: the fantail is a stunning little beast.  They can course correct in mid air due to their (drum roll…) fan tail.  Check out this video. Amazing bird.

“tangi” 4/23/18

might I be buried under a pohutukawa tree

and climb the roots

like vines

pulling oddly one by ten

to fool the blind


and so I may fall again

right back into the earth I fled

and roots shall draw out my life

coloring flowers of blood blossoms

to mark the path

and softens the harshest lands


might children play around my spine

elders pray to the north

open minds

DMK Note: lots to play off here, you sort of need to know about the trees and the Maori beliefs.  But for me I found it fascinating that the Maori have a specific place where the dead leave the earth to travel back (in spirit) to their homeland. I am also specifically referencing certain elements in the story of Tawhaki.  The tree itself is also fascinating as it clings to outcrops and can pretty much grow in some extremely harsh environments… I would like to think of myself that way… if I were that brave, one can dream, and I certainly do.

“grounded” 4/23/18

penguins in the forests

foot paths worn with water feet

all these mazes

for children’s sake


their cousins the kiwi

also tired of flight

peck and hunt

upon the ground

all the while

with peculiar gate

and protruding snouts


might they all admire

the kakapo

ranger of the night

another relative

who has forgotten flight

DMK Note: NZ has an amazing diversity of life due to evolutionary forces separating the island from any other lands.  The isolation has led to a few very significant flightless birds.  The Kiwi of course is quite famous as it gives the nickname for NZ natives themselves.  But the Kakapo is this amazing huge night parrot.  Unfortunately due to introduced species the Kakapo is nearly wiped out but conservation efforts are in full swing thankfully.  Oh yeah… the penguin thing... they live in the forest and make this mad commute every day that rivals my own. Penguins in the forest !  really!

“Te Rerenga Wairua” 5/21/18

fingers of flame

filaments of fire

on timbers

holding onto this plane

corporal limbs

blooming land anemones

from root to branch

extends out to the tide

two bodies collide

ocean mist

in the distance

flowers for passing eyes

one last glimpse

before the dive

DMK note:  Cape Reinga (the Maori words are the title of the poem).  Literally believed to be the point where souls jump off to return home. I am again referencing the Pohutukawa tree as well here… and the fact that two oceans literally meet off the coast of this amazing place.  There is a tree said to be 800 years old just clinging to the coast… I mean, how many more metaphors can you pour into this thing ?  Amazing…

Looking for some cool (and authentic) Kiwi stuff ?

New Zealand made cultural art and gifts from local talent

This is totally non-solicited and I don’t make a dime off this… I have ordered from them in the past.  All the stuff was awesome (better than it looked online actually).  Personally I got a jade (greenstone) manaia pendant and a wood koru pendant. They also support local artists!!!