Writer competition: poetry winners

As part of the University of Otago's 150th celebrations it has run a new creative writing competition, "Writer''. Here are the winners of the staff poetry and student poetry sections.



Te Hunga ora

He whakaaetangate utu.

He manawanui te inoi.
He aroha te patu.
He hohou i te rongo te pou roa.

Those of us who remain

Acceptance of others will be our revenge and retribution.
Tolerance will be our creed.
Love will be our weapons.
Peace will be our legacy.

Anaru Eketone is a senior lecturer in social and community work, Ahua a iwi.



Bulolo River Canyon

To leap without looking
First look well.
Look carefully, slowly - think about it

Then go down to the canyon
Among tangled trees
Above you the flash of the coucal's wing;
Through hot shrilling thickets
You step down cautiously
Clinging to branches
Skidding on pebbles
To the whispering river running over stones,
Chill in the sudden fierce sunlight.
The rumour of rapids softly warns you
As you pick your way over grey green boulders,
Mossy, jumbled, treacherous -

Be careful!
Look ahead, decide; think about it.
Test your weight, watch your stride,
One and two.
It's not difficult, faster now,
Singing even: ``Slip Sliding Away''
Yes, laugh; it's fun, stepping faster
And faster, skip now, leap gaps -

And you're running, quite content
Above a grey green flicker
Don't think: mind is quicker,
Righter than brain.

Like the melody swelling from the violin,
The painter's trance,
You can't put a foot wrong, even willingly,
In this surprising dance, because

Mind is wiser, deeper than brain,
The gift we must earn; truly, we must learn
So much of technique to be instinctive, make the leap,
Step lightly from knowing to understanding.

By Dr Amanda Kvalsvig is a senior research fellow at Kairuruku Matua and co-director of the HEIRU research group, University of Otago Wellington.



Saturday's Child Lyric


I think I was a wise child
I didn't believe in their God

I tried to be a brave child
I said I believed to be spared the rod

I know I was an honest child
I told my truth then it got corrected

I wanted to be a graceful child
But the eggshells left me crippled

An adult now, I'm wise
The more I learn, the less I know

An atheist still, I'm brave
It's just me and the tooth and claw

A grownup now, I'm honest
I post my truth, it's a point of view

Self-determined now, hoping for grace
Crunching over, around, through



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