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Te Tairawhiti poetry writing competition

I Feel You Spring

by Wanda Thompson-Kiel

When I woke up this morning, there was frost out on the lawn

Just before the sun came up and just before the dawn

I felt a special moment — felt the world just hesitate

Pausing for an instant just outside my garden gate

There was nothing to witness, nothing evident to see

And yet there was a sense of something coming back to me

A sense of something warm and loving, beautiful and real

Even though that something is just something I can feel

What I felt so very near was the sweet touch of spring

A sense of peace and harmony lay over everything

The beauty of spring skies at dawn so fascinate the eye

It’s great to be awake to see a spring day dropping by

Maybe this special moment is just something in my head

I do not care, I know it’s there — not much more to be said

And in the early morning with the frost still on the lawn

That special moment’s all about a spring day being born.

The Welcome Swallow up

by Gypsy Rose

A solo swallow

flies south,

drawn by an unseen force.

Returning to the land

of her birth.

Her rear feather’s


in an impudent signal

to the tail end

of winter.

A single swallow

does not a spring make

and the chill wind

bites cruelly at

old bones.

A tiny child

garners the last daffodil.

Her lilliputian foot

pressing down,

on nine daisies.

Shared ancestral origins

long forgotten.

Called home by a karakia

heard only as a faint flutter

in their tiny hearts.

The unbroken,

maternal line

linking both to Aotearoa

and Papatuanuku

held only by love.

More swallows

join the old one,

building nests for,

a new dawn, a new day,

a new generation.

Swallow, Child,

returned full circle.

The journey home complete

but not entirely

Scot free.

Both welcome,

in a sorry world,

fraught with trouble.

Heralding another gorgeous spring

and hope renewed.

Ake Ake Ake

Forever and ever

Koanga / Spring

by Taranga Kent

Behold, the vernal equinox

Has once more rolled around

The earth renews

its vibrant hues

above the stirring ground

Resurgence of abundance

The promise of the new

Hydrate the earth

For the coming rebirth

Of nature, me and you

Adorn my nakedness once again

Restore my cloak of green

Bring forth new life

In this paradise

Where Coasties reign supreme!

Springing up

by HR Jenkin

There’s a spring

Where the life gift flows

and the heart’s hope grows.


Has a fresh, new chance

and it makes me dance.

I’m planning my summer tucker.

I’m practising kapa haka.

I’m learning

and I’m yearning

For the spring.

There’s a spring

In my step today

and I’m out to play.


Has the buzz of fun

and the rabbits run.

I’m dancing the kanikani

That leaves me feeling funny.

I’m spinning

and I’m grinning

In the spring.

A Journey Through Spring

by Nishar Pink

Let me paint you a picture,

Let’s go on a journey

Close your eyes and really try

To pick up on the energy

You’re sitting in a field.

The fresh smell of spring air fills your lungs.

The aroma of blooming flowers consumes you, and takes you back to when you were young.

Back to when nothing else mattered

But the play that was at hand

A freedom without limits

Be it dirt, grass or sand

Time stops, as you take it all in

Appreciating the moment alone

The wind catches your hair

Now it’s really starting to blow


To the gentle sounds of nature.

To the beauty of the world around you,

How skilled is our creator?

Hear the birds that sing their song

Stop, and look, and listen

Springtime brings a smell and light from which every petal will glisten.

Not too hot, not too cold,

But somewhere in-between.

Of all four seasons, spring is the time, there’s always more to be seen.

So next time you’re out and about

From September to November

Take a moment to breathe the air

And allow yourself to remember;

The world around us is ever changing

And that is clear to see,

But locked down or not, our world is beautiful,

How lucky are we?

Come Back Golden Hypnosis

by Amy Adcock

I am washed in the melted dew and dried like the clouded breath of a winters morning

I sit spun as a spider’s web

Insides twisted like the poison ivy vine hugs

Body blushed pink battling the unforgiving frost,

The sun has now risen

Spring has begun, the world has begun

Flowers are in bloom now, their colours steep under the sun’s gaze

The breath of spring exhales tiny pollen grains,

Petals frolic in the breeze, synchronised like dancers,

The world has begun now the sun has arrived,

I have been picked up by the golden grasp, I flutter amongst grains of pollen,

I steep like the petals,

My body stained in yellows reds pinks blues, I radiate

I grow and bloom and grow again,

I have begun now,

Blinded by a golden light I am washed in honey as the world glows.

The sun has set now

My colours tarnish

My petals wilt

I fall from the sky,

I sit spun as a spider’s web,

My insides tangled like the poison ivy vine hugs,

Body blushed pink battling the unforgiving frost,

The spring has washed over me again,

Come back golden hypnosis

7 am

By Sam Mason-Green

The gelid breeze is fading but it’s presence still appears

The stigma skies fluster my emotions

I envision the various colours spring offers

watching it bleed in the air.

I see purple, yellow, blue and green, overwhelm my dimly lit atmosphere.

As I crave the bright lights to settle the curiosity contained in my head.

Now, what does spring have to offer me, I say to myself

As I look through Google searching for the knowledge on the top shelf.

But, I find nothing.

You’re bluffing, I say to Google.

I typed in, what is spring?

It came up with a bloody trampoline!

Reality fades back in with a cold snippet snapping me out and waking me within.

The winter has been cold-hearted but the spring has bloomed hope.

Through the mental health I suffer from daily

It feels good to see the petals grow to a rose.

Springing between worlds: Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Rāwhiti

by Anna Cooper

Tuis swoop,

their wings chopping the silence,

the night shift relieved,

by the police helicopter.

A girl,

at the A & P show,

hair in two pigtails,

the part-line exposed,

a line burnt down the centre of her head,

matching the jersey of GGHS.

A flatmate harvests,

tender shoots of abundant green garnish,

rash, upset gut,

don’t be fooled by the faded spring onion label,

those are daffodils…

Driving through a paddock,

in the dark of night,

flocks of rushing white demons,

eyes glow red in the car headlights,

jerky, demented dancers,

first to see the light,


into frolicking, sprightly gymnasts.

Squelch, squish, slip, skid,

the school field out of bounds,

bulbs flopped over,

leggy, lank, long, no flowers,

Tāmaki Makaurau saturated,

yet, water shortages anticipated.

The first butterfly of spring,

the cat chirps,

she flies out the door,

soars through the air,


clutching the monarch in her mouth,

she’ll personally ensure,

the downfall of an entire population here.

One broccoli,

only one broccoli grew a head,

ten others went to seed or are simply dead,

more spent on seedlings, soil, fertiliser,

than Countdown prices.


I’d do it again,

but maybe the tomatoes will go in pots instead.


when they don’t flourish,

I’ll head to Teesdales,

and then I’ll know:

I’m home, and summer is here.

  1. Wanda Thompson-Kiel says:

    Congratulations to the winners of Te Tairawhiti Poetry Competition . . . it is just wonderful to read so many fabulous poems capturing the diversity and magic of Spring as seen, felt and experienced by our East Coast whanau of all ages and all cultures. Many, many thanks to our Gisborne Herald whanau too . . . Hope this continues to be an annual event.