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Monday, 1 November 2010


Some of Auckland’s hottest, up-and-coming and established poets will be performing as part of Kumeu Art in the Garden Festival this weekend.

The poetry bouquet ranges from lyrical to improvisation, performance poetry with music, to post modernist word play. Each poet will also bring their favourite poem about art and gardens by another poet for an outing at Waimauku’s lovely Dharamkot garden.

Spoken word ensemble Printable Reality and guests present a rich and varied line-up for lovers of literature, art and gardens, Saturday and Sunday between 12 PM and 2pm.

“You don’t have to be ‘literary’ to enjoy poetry,” says Gus Simonovic from Printable Reality. “Love of language is a basic human pleasure, and poetry, art and a garden, that’s an irresistible combination.

“There is an active poetry community in Auckland and this will be an amazing opportunity to be entertained by some of Auckland’s most original voices. It’s great to be able to take poetry into a new setting and to a new audience.” Printable Reality produces multimedia performances that have strong poetry/spoken word elements enhanced by combinations of music, dance and visuals.

Art in the garden poets include Siobhan Harvey, poetry editor of Takahe magazine and a consulting editor of the International Literary Quarterly; Auckland performance poet Gus Simonovic; Literatti performers Christian Jensen, Miriam Barr and Daniel Larsen; Kirsten Warner and Jerry Beale from Printable Reality; Poetry Live MCs Penny Somervaille, Kiri Piahana-Wong and Ila Selwyn; Metonymy organiser Rosetta Allan; poetry slam champion Michael Rudd.

Kumeu Art in the Garden festival of creativity showcases the arts in some of the West’s finest settings.

At Dharamkot, 90 Waikoukou Valley Road, Waimauku.

• Saturday: 12 PM Kirsten Warner; 12.15 PM David Taylor; 12.30 PM Miriam Barr; 12.45 PM Siobhan Harvey; 1 PM Daniel Larsen; 1.15 PM Ila Selwyn; 1.30 Christian Jensen; 1.45 PM Michael Botur.
• 12 PM Gus Simonovic; 12.15 PM Penny Sommervaile; 12.30 PM Jeremy Roberts; 12.45 PM Kelly Malone; 1 PM Jerry Beale; 1.15 PM Kiri Piahana-Wong; 1.30 Michael Rudd; 1.45 PM Rosetta Allan.

POEMS – 4 short poems attached (below).

Night swimming
I saw lights in the water
while I was swimming in the sea
one night.

They stuck onto my arms and legs.
Light streamed from the ends of my fingers and toes.
I flicked my feet like a fish
I drew circles with my hands
I shimmered like a star falling
in the deep dark water.

Kiri Piahana-Wong

Leaving Diamond Harbour
We emptied the garage in half a day
finding memories like gathering mushrooms.

The old wooden pegs you hung
our outer lives by, privately,
on the retractable line.

We made puppets or dolls out of them
with fine long legs and crew cuts.

The signal house from the train set,
empty and the signalman
just a stern paper peeling from the upstairs window
all his signals
empty too.

Each object a struck match:
something old flared and gone dark.

David Taylor

It’s a girl
At first she just slept
grey and sweetly furred
with John Lee Hooker eyes
and finger pads.
I knew I could love a kitten
and was reassured,
even grew to like
hooks of mother of pearl
and teeth to nipple.

By the third month
sharp, hard words
replaced purr and mew.
How advanced, the other mothers said
thinking, what a cat of a kid
what tom fathered her?

Kirsten Warner

If the words are the stars
Poems are constellations.
You need to know the figure
To shape out meanings.
And wherever you move
every nightsky speaks
a different language.

I crossed the line -
and left my northern stars
at that invisible border.
They were confiscated by
equatorial customs office.
But I smuggled my poems with me
so I can still speak to you.

I exchanged my Little Dipper
for Magellanic clouds.
Instead of Polaris
Sigma Octanis brightens my horizon

And I reach up high and I dig down deep
as every plant that has been
pulled out by its roots.
Lucky to have Leo and Orion
To help me bear my Southern Cross.

Gus Simonovic

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