The Latest From The Inspirational Gill

All I need is to write!

By Gill Ward

(Credit Portland Library)

Good day/morning/afternoon/evening (covering all bases) and all shift workers and insomniacs!

After all these years, all I know is, I need not to do anything as a part of remorse.
All I need is to write.
Because, Poetry forgives.”

Nishikant The Papery Onions

I’ve started with this lovely quote because it’s how I feel at the moment. I so enjoy writing this column, but always seem to be apologising because I should have done it sooner.

I have, however identified the problem. It’s this: Alan and Roger do not set me deadlines; they never harass nor criticize nor apply pressure. Maybe they should (for me anyway).

All my life I have lived by deadlines. I love them; they are so motivating and there may be consequences if you don’t meet them.

When I read this quote by Nishikant I so agreed with it. I looked this man up on the internet and there seemed to be many Nishikants so I put in Papery Onions and got what I wanted. It looks like a book worth delving into. There were several quotes and favourable reviews.

An impressive Literary Festival

Gary Henderson

Well! It has been a month for Literature. Congratulations to those stalwart members, particularly Janet Secker who spearheaded this last event. Of course she had many helpers and participants who are also to be congratulated.

I heard Gary Henderson on the opening night and was very admiring of his output and innovative approach to playwriting. I did see his Play Home Land when it was on at the Kapiti Playhouse this year. It was so moving and so real I felt I was up on the stage with those people and part of what they were going through; convincing acting too.

I missed the Saturday morning session as I had a previous commitment but heard much praise from those who attended it.

The afternoon with Pinky Agnew, Ken Duncum and Nick Ward. An entertaining event – a mixture of knowledge, intellect and humour.

Helping the homeless

This month also saw the International Day of the Homeless. In Wellington this was marked by a book launch of a book of poems Homeless by John Howell, Makaro Press, 2017.

All profits from this book will go to support DMC’s (formerly known as Inner City Ministry and then Downtown Community Ministry) work with people experiencing homelessness. Two main donors were Pak’nSave and Harcourts.

An example of one of John’s shorter poems:


Take some bread

it’s tastier toasted.

I don’t have a toaster.

I don’t have electricity.

Poets to the People going strong!

Poets to the People still going strong with the tenth anniversary coming up! Hard to believe! Our August poet was Bob Orr, much appreciated and great feedback.

Last month saw us hosting Tim Jones a stellar performer, writer and supporter of poetry on the Wellington scene.

On Sunday October 30 we have Chris Tse. Chris’ first full-length poetry collection, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, was published by Auckland University Press in September 2014.

Augie Auer

In 2016, Snakes received the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry and was a finalist in the poetry category at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Mark your calendars this minute! High Tide Café, Marine Parade 4-6pm $5 koha.

I have been thinking about something that wonderful weather presenter Augie Auer (named after August I believe) said. Augie was American and was so proud when he and his family  gained citizenship of ‘this wonderful country’.

Sadly on 10 June 2007, Auer died suddenly while dining with family in Melbourne, while celebrating his 35th wedding anniversary and his 67th birthday. Here’s what he said – ‘Spring is an adolescent season’. I remind myself of this every Spring!

I love these lines from Gerald Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring          

Gerald Manley Hopkins

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         

   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         

The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         

   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.        

Following on here is the first verse from Elizabeth Bishop’s response to Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as spring. – Hopkins

A cold spring:
the violet was flawed on the lawn.
For two weeks or more the trees hesitated;
the little leaves waited,
carefully indicating their characteristics.
Finally a grave green dust
settled over your big and aimless hills

Oh and Daffodils of course!

For now enjoy poetry and until next time