A Hundred Votes For Aotearoa

1

Where there is love
There is truth
Where there is fear
There is falsehood

2

Where there is love
There is light
Where there is fear
There is illusion

3

Where there is love
There is beauty
Where there is fear
There is darkness

4

Where there is love
There is colour
Where there is fear
There is nothingness

5

Where there is love
There is music
Where there is fear
There is ignorance

6

Where there is love
There is dance
Where there is fear
There is stuckness

7

Where there is love
There is choice
Where there is fear
There is force

8

Where there is love
There is peace
Where there is fear
There is warmongering

9

Where there is love
There is freedom
Where there is fear
There is imprisonment

10

Where there is love
There is togetherness
Where there is fear
There is isolation

11

Where there is love
There is reason
Where there is fear
There is insanity

12

Where there is love
There is relationship
Where there is fear
There is avoidance

13

Where there is love
There is rhythm
Where there is fear
There is soullessness

14

Where there is love
There is poetry
Where there is fear
There is insult

15

Where there is love
There is kindness
Where there is fear
There is greed

16

Where there is love
There is sharing
Where there is fear
There is hoarding

17

Where there is love
There is song
Where there is fear
There is false pride

18

Where there is love
There is guidance
Where there is fear
There is outcast

19

Where there is love
There is change
Where there is fear
There is fate

20

Where there is love
There is faith
Where there is fear
There is trauma

21

Where there is love
There is laughter
Where there is fear
There is slaughter

22

Where there is love
There is style
Where there is fear
There is conformity

23

Where there is love
There is soul
Where there is fear
There is dying

24

Where there is love
There is trust
Where there is fear
There is hiding

25

Where there is love
There is openness
Where there is fear
There is blindness

26

Where there is love
There is warmth
Where there is fear
There is despair

27

Where there is love
There is nature
Where there is fear
There is theft

28

Where there is love
There is belief
Where there is fear
There is doubt

29

Where there is love
There is sound
Where there is fear
There is rigidity

30

Where there is love
There is art
Where there is fear
There is pretense

31

Where there is love
There is giving
Where there is fear
There is dying

32

Where there is love
There is ancestry
Where there is fear
There is loneliness

33

Where there is love
There is forgiveness
Where there is fear
There is crime

34

Where there is love
There is communion
Where there is fear
There is confusion

35

Where there is love
There is voice
Where there is fear
There is choking

36

Where there is love
There is union
Where there is fear
There is separation

37

Where there is love
There is knowing
Where there is fear
There is forgetfulness

38

Where there is love
There is confidence
Where there is fear
There is hesitation

39

Where there is love
There is hope
Where there is fear
There is fear-mongering

40

Where there is love
There is greatness
Where there is fear
There is injustice

41

Where there is love
There is memory
Where there is fear
There is sleepfulness

42

Where there is love
There is expression
Where there is fear
There is repression

43

Where there is is love
There is mercy
Where there is fear
There is trouble

44

Where there is love
There is determination
Where is fear
There is conspiracy

45

Where there is love
There is friendship
Where there is fear
There is stranger

46

Where there is love
There is timing
Where there is fear
There is uniformity

47

Where there is love
There is passion
Where there is fear
There is addiction

48

Where there is love
There is help
Where there is fear
There is poverty

49

Where there is love
There is life
Where there is fear
There is ingratitude

50

Where there is love
There is home
Where there is fear
There is loss

51

Where there is love
There is land
Where there is fear
There is division

52

Where there is love
There is wealth
Where there is fear
There is sickness

53

Where there is love
There is pleasure
Where there is fear
There is inhibition

54

Where there is love
There is quality
Where there is fear
There is ignoring

55

Where there is love
There is permission
Where there is fear
There is punishment

56

Where there is love
There is patience
Where there is fear
There is waiting

57

Where there is love
There is clarity
Where there is fear
There is contraction

58

Where there is love
There is play
Where there is fear
There is meanness

59

Where there is love
There is fullness
Where there is fear
There is narrowness

60

Where there is love
There is history
Where there is fear
There is denial

61

Where there is love
There is evolution
Where there is fear
There is retribution

62

Where there is love
There is language
Where there is fear
There is refusal

63

Where there is love
There is pleasing
Where there is fear
There is denying

64

Where there is love
There is serenity
Where there is fear
There is anxiety

65

Where there is love
There is meaning
Where there is fear
There is ideology

66

Where there is love
There is loyalty
Where there is fear
There is mistrust

67

Where there is love
There is progress
Where there is fear
There is control

68

Where there is love
There is time
Where there is fear
There is panic

69

Where there is love
There is passage
Where there is fear
There is limitation

70

Where there is love
There is ambiguity
Where there is fear
There is uncertainty

71

Where there is love
There is wisdom
Where there is fear
There is regression

72

Where there is love
There is purity
Where there is fear
There is toxicity

73

Where there is love
There is fairness
Where there is fear
There is cheating

74

Where there is love
There is strength
Where there is fear
There is violence

75

Where there is love
There is promise
Where there is fear
There is hopelessness

76

Where there is love
There is flow
Where there is fear
There is entrapment

77

Where there is love
There is depth
Where there is fear
There is neglect

78

Where there is love
There is artistry
Where there is fear
There is sophistry

79

Where there is love
There is honesty
Where there is fear
There is secrecy

80

Where there is love
There is synchronicity
Where there is fear
There is polarity

81

Where there is love
There is feeling
Where there is fear
There is conditioning

82

Where there is love
There is seeing
Where there is fear
There is staring

83

Where there is love
There is hearing
Where there is fear
There is misbelieving

85

Where there is love
There is knowledge
Where there is fear
There is arrogance

86

Where there is love
There is talent
Where there is fear
There is parsimony

87

Where there is love
There is community
Where there is fear
There is friction

88

Where there is love
There is unity
Where there is fear
There is judgement

89

Where there is love
There is sweetness
Where there is fear
There is blame

90

Where there is love
There is joy
Where there is fear
There is sorrow

91

Where there is love
There is ease
Where there is fear
There is struggle

92

Where there is love
There is forbearance
Where there is fear
There is excess

93

Where there is love
There is agreement
Where there is fear
There is gloating

94

Where there is love
There is completion
Where there is fear
There is reduction

95

Where there is love
There is welcome
Where there is fear
There is selfishness

96

Where there is love
There is congratulation
Where there is fear
There is jealousy

97

Where there is love
There is inclusion
Where there is fear
There is rejection

98
Where there is love
There is curiosity
Where there is fear
There is criticism

99

Where there is love
There is growth
Where there is fear
There is waste

100

Where there is love
There is occupation
Where there is fear
There is desertion

Dear Flame

Dear flame,
How I let you down.
Why don’t I allow you
to fill my frame?

Dear flame,
Why are you so hesitant?
Will you burn me up
In my quest for fame?

Dear flame,
I feel you raging within me.
So many time I have
Doused your claims.

Dear flame,
Show me how to renew my spirit,
To take the lead, to lead others.
To remember my name.

Dear flame,
You are my ally within me.
Why am I so scared you will singe me?
Burn me down so I am not the same.

Dear flame,
How do I awaken from this slumber?
Brighten me up from within,
From under, from your source,
From the place whence I came.

Dear flame,
I am yours and you are mine.
Let this life not be asleep,
An underground course,
A forgetting, a life to blame.

Dear flame,
Steer my way, come from spark
To tender tinder; lift me up
Beyond rage, resentment, bitterness.
Help me where I am lame.

Dear flame,
Forge this path, the promise
Of my sight, the light that
Sears my visions, my dreams and
Remembering, beyond my shame.

I Found The Human Animal In The Zoo

I found the human animal in the zoo.
When I walked around the inside
Perimeter, the right-hand side of the
Raised path was done out like a garden.

‘What’s the animal in this one?’
I said to myself in jest. The Garden
Of Eden, where Eve animal and Adam,
Were wild in their ancient nakedness,

Surrounded by this fence? Among
Bromeliads and spiky succulents,
Amid rockeries and gullies,
This land to the right as I travelled

Around, was like the enclosure for
Humans instead. So that was the
Beginning of my trip round the zoo.
Little did I suspect it would end

With an echo. For coming back on
The way out, I saw on the other side,
Over the fence enclosing giraffe and
Zebras, the ostriches and, in the

Distance, the Nyala (an antelope) and
The rhinoceros – but before the rocky
Cliffs that reached down to the field,
(But nevertheless over the fence) –

A post in the ground, faded boots in
Foreground, a rusty gas cooker nearby,
A backpack hanging over the post – and,
A human animal hide: a faded shirt,

Once the pride, of a human
Humanimal in the wild Wild.

Zebra Stripes

Zebra stripes are famously vertical,
But today at the zoo, I finally observed,
Looking down from above, the
Horizontal stripes at the back of his back.
The black and white stripes on the
Rear of the zebra, fall horizontally down
His back legs! So: ‘Z is for Zebra’
Is truly the truth – for his midriff
Is the negotiation between vertical
And horizontal – the true ‘Z-shaped’
Stripes are in the ‘mid-flow’! They
Go across diagonal til the rear has
Them straightened; straight across his
Rear back like the lines of a rug.
The midlines, the ‘Z-lines’, run
Wonderfully ‘Ziagonal’, like
‘Z for Zebra’s’ truth, truly impressive.
And the kicker, another mystery, is
Another observation, looking where
The rear stripes get low and now wide.
In the white spaces appear soft narrow
Lines, pale brown, like a centreline,
Running along each wide white stripe.
So that it seems to ‘add to the extra’
Dimension of the zebra; not just
‘Z for zig-zag’, ‘Z for black and white’,
‘Z for vertical and horizontal’ – but
Z the midway diagonal, the zygote:
The evidence of the middle way,
The soft light brown quantum leap,
Not ‘grey’, but who would’ve guessed:
In the middle of the black and white zebra
Are light brown clefts.

Giraffe

Something of a laugh,
Did you know the name ‘giraffe’
Is good to go for single and plural?
These things make me question
Whether I was ever informed.
Don’t be daft – we always knew
The hide was like a turtle, in
Young a smudgy brown,
In adult the white interweb
Gets more distinguished, the
Lines sharpen, in the web-netting
Of the giraffe. We always saw
Their seahorse faces, but with
Soft mouths mouthing flatly
The leaves they, kings and queens
Of height, eat on their path.
Always knew we their heaven’s eyes
Looking down from on high,
Highest of any animals like we’d
Be perusing the sky. What
A laugh! That we didn’t know
The tallest males, in their
Finest-distinguished chainmail,
In their brushed cotton patchworks,
Were not so gentle giants when it comes
To a battle for the female.
Giraffe, that is, two adult males
(‘Giraffe’ – what a laugh!) will swing
Their strong necks like wrecking balls,
Slamming into one another, til
One’s proven his craft!

The Animal Alphabet We Learned

A is for aardvark, ape, or ant.
B is for Bear, baboon, or bee.
C is for Cat.
D is for Dog.
E is eel, elephant, or eagle!
F is for Fish, fox, or could be falcon.
G is for Goat, goldfish, guinea pig – no, Giraffe!
H is for Hare, hippo/hippotamus.
I is for Ibis, iguana, or inchworm.
J is for Jolly kangaroo, or Jellyfish.
K is (just joking) for sure the Kangaroo!
L is always Lion.
M is always Monkey.
N is almost always Newt.
O is Octopus equally with Owl.
P is Parrot, pufferfish, puffin, and Pig.
Q is (thankfully) the Quetzal bird.
R is the running Rabbit, or the rhino/rhinoceros.
S is Snake.
T is Tortoise, turtle, Tiger, or Tyrannosaurus!
U is the lonely Unicorn.
V is the vicious Viper or equally vicious Vulture.
W is always a Walrus, or maybe a Whale.
X is eXcused from this poem (if no-one complains).
Y is always the Yak.
Z is only and ever, always and evermore a Zebra!

The Tortoise Is Not Big

The tortoise is not big,
Or even heavy;
He is still.
Still as stones,
His shell of bone
So hard but sensitive.
It bruises, bleeds, the keratin
Is the magnificent excess of
The same that is our fingernails.
If a ‘shell’; if you don’t think that it
Is so very much a part of him,
Think ‘why a shell?’; what animals
Do you know with a ‘shell’?
The weight of ocean molluscs
Is with him; the animal
That is shell, is ocean, ocean stone,
So still, the weight of ocean, land,
And time is with him.

For George Floyd

Born of White culture and historically White race.
There’s shades of grey and all kinds of
Diversity amongst people,
But you can see it in my face.

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man,
I want to acknowledge the white privilege I possess.
Even unconsciously, the challenge I feel at these times,
Of learning and evolving, is put to the test.

So regardless, I must start at the very least with this:
Pay my last respects to the memory of George Floyd, a father,
A Black man, an activist for peace and resistance.
Pay my respects to the Black community in the US where this

Is a man lost from community, from ‘Black Lives Matter’ unity,
From understandable fury, protest, even acting with impunity
In the face of the US Police and US disregard for Blacks,

When his life, like the others, is lost in injustice.

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