Live Poets Napier at Creative Arts Napier


Lens on Poetry organised by Napier Live Poets to celebrate NZ National Poetry Day was hosted by Creative Arts Napier (CAN) for two weeks.

Lens on Poetry organised by Napier Live Poets to celebrate NZ National Poetry Day was hosted by Creative Arts Napier (CAN) for two weeks.

The invitation to this event described it as follow: “Lens on Poetry is a collaboration combining poems and photography. Photographs will hang alongside its relevant poem to create a visual-linguistic dialogue between each coupling. Each medium will have its own status and there are no limits or parameters on creativity. It is hoped that the work will reveal new truths and previously unknown histories of our city. Visitors to the exhibition are free to engage with the work as they wish, with input and comments welcome.”

The following poets and photographers responded to this year National Poetry Day challenge:

Jeremy & Nurasiah Roberts, Erice Fairbrother & Stefan, M D Rogers (Duncan Bowles) & Naomi Prowse, Dave Sharp & Paul Sharp, Susan Wylie & Marie Taylor, Lynn Frith & Sally Carter, Valentina Teclici & Ken Sandö. Angie Denby, Sonia Mackenzie and Ian McQuillan played the double role (poet and photographer).


Jeremy & Nurasiah Roberts

Jeremy Roberts wrote a bilingual poem (in Bahasa Indonesia and English) inspired by Alia, his daughter’s drawing. Nurasiah Roberts, Alia’s mother, took the photo.

Jeremy Roberts wrote a bilingual poem (in Bahasa Indonesia and English) inspired by Alia, his daughter’s drawing. Nurasiah Roberts, Alia’s mother, took the photo.

Alia – Keep Going! Jeremy Roberts


Erice Fairbrother & Stefan

There is nothing I would ask For, from anyone,
From you
Except perhaps one

Thing – to just live,
Like you
God hears me they
Say, once walked in our shoes – Can you

Walk with me
So I might walk with you
To birth
Hope in these streets, warmth From the mind, and
Mercy too?

Erice Fairbrother

Erice Fairbrother & Stefan


M D Rogers (Duncan Bowles) & Naomi Prowse

M D Rogers (Duncan Bowles) & Naomi Prowse

Backwards she glances

through sharp stinging tears

watching the moon

from the air.

Her fragile love entwining

his hair.

Sorrowfully dreaming she gasps in

despair while drowning

once more in those angry

tears Clawing for

breath she stares

and she stares

M D Rogers

Ian McQuillan (photo and poem)
Naomi Prowse


Ian McQuillan (photo and poem)

Out of the Chrysalis

Out of the Chrysalis

It was time to come

Out of the chrysalis

That suspended green house

With a golden strip around it

Inside, the caterpillars

Magical metamorphosis occurred


The Monarch emerged 

Resplendent, beautiful butterfly

Waiting patiently close by

The praying mantis

Knew her time had come

Grasping the helpless baby butterfly

She began her feast

Devouring first the head of her victim

Leaving the rest for later.

Nature lovers rejoice!

Ian McQuillan 6/7/20


Sonia Mackenzie (photo and poem)

Sonia Mackenzie (photo and poem)
Sunset at Pauatahanui


There’s a golden sunset above the houses across the green

can it be seen where you are?

There’s a small brown thrush amongst the leaves in autumn trees

could it take a message to you?

There’s half a moon disappearing soon behind a cloud

if I shout out loud can it take my thoughts to you?

For you only went away today and I am missing you already!

                                                                     Sonia Mackenzie


Dave Sharp & Paul Sharp

Dave Sharp & Paul Sharp
Paul Sharp

Grim Reaper Junior.

“Good evening Mrs Reaper,

Welcome, come on in,

I have to report the school has some issues,

Relating to Young Grim.

He’s never in School Uniform,

He’s always in black robe and hood!

Ooh, ooh, religious is it?

Exemption! Understood!

And what’s with this scythe he carries round?

Oh, symbolic! It’s like a cross. I see.

Religious intolerance? No, no, no,

Of course he can bring it, gracious me!

But please explain this hour-glass thing,

That Grim studies every day,

He tells his classmates it’s their lives,

He’s watching slip away.

He says he’ll meet them later,

Depending on some dice,

Oh, it’s about classmate reunions in the future!

Well isn’t that so nice!

Now School Nurse mentioned a problem,

He’s too bony, far too thin,

She says he’s skeletal in fact,

You need to up the protein he takes in.

Well I won’t see you again, I’m retiring,

I’ll be out of everybody’s mind,

But your son promises to look me up, next June,

He’s really a good lad, ever so kind!”

Dave Sharp


Susan Wylie & Marie Taylor

Susan Wylie & Marie Taylor

Photo: Marie Taylor of Plant Hawke’s Bay, from her 2019 calendar of native plants and local craft.
Box: Peter Maclean, rimu with totara berries, Podocarpus totara

Box of Berries

At some time

time stopped

and remade itself.

At some time 

the tree was felled

milled shaped planed sanded

and piece by piece

remade as a box

with joints and handle like twigs

and an eye looking upwards.

A box, still tree.

At some time

these berries fell from a tree

dropped tumbled scattered

and a fraction 

is remaking in the dark damp earth

a tree as joints and twigs

in its mind’s eye.

A berry, still tree.

At some time

the end the start

are remade.

Susan Wylie


Angie Denby (photo and poem)

Stairway to Heaven

She is climbing the stairway to heaven,


The cage rattled as we drove

She paced the room

hyper-alert, anxious

With caring hearts, our talk came to a foregone conclusion.

“Sounds like you have made up your mind. These are the choices.”

I choose tat one.

Can’t stay.

Can’t go to the counter.

Can’t talk.

Can barely see.

I carried the empty cage to the car, and drove home.

Clear away the bowls.

I keep looking out for her, thinking she will walk in.

She is in my mind on and off all evening.

Rest in Peace, faithful feline.

Angie Denby


Lynn Frith & Sally Carter

Pekapeka Wetlands Sally Carter

Rising mist

reveals earth’s beauty.


The path stretches

into an unknown future.

Walk boldly.

No handrails.

Life can be hazardous.

Take courage

Lynne Frith


Valentina Teclici & Ken Sandö

Ken Sandö


Napier, amazing city, Phoenix

rising from your own ashes.

1931 earthquake ruined your buildings,

killed and injured people,

but never killed your hopes and dreams.

I search through chapters of history.

1850, your roots, your genesis.

Alfred Domett, Sir Charles Napier.

Step by step, growth and progress.

Once a borough now a harbour city

attracting millions of tourists.

Sister cities in Japan, China and Canada.

I wonder where your beautiful spirit hid?

In old buildings?

In your resilience and determination to survive and strive?

In the deeds of great people who left their legacy behind?

In the bronze statues Pania of the Reef or A Wave in Time,

witnesses to the happenings

on Marine Parade and Emerson Street?

Is your spirit hidden in the waiata of the ocean?

Tangaroa never resting the keyboard of his waves.

Is it hidden in Maori legends, whakatauki

and whakapapa of Ahuriri?

Gratefully, Ken Sandö’s photo collage

teaches me more about my adopted city.

Now, I believe that The Spirit of Napier

is in the power of rising above all challenges

from Mother Nature and human beings.

It’s the essence of the past and present,

each breath of every rock, bird, tree and ocean wave.

Each person belonging to you, dead or alive,

all in your true beauty,

of moments and continuity.

Valentina Teclici

Valentina and Ken

Thank you to the poets and photographers who agreed to have their contribution to the Lens of Poetry event published on the Scripta manent Publishing House website.

Valentina Teclici

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