Pukapuka Books


Monday, May 31, 2010

Pukapuka Poem #10 - Michael O'Leary

Hone Tuwhare: a personal memoir

E hoa, you have gone to the place beyond
that tug-of-war which was your life: that
struggle between North and South which
even continued after you were laid to rest.

But it was always like that with you: they
wanted you there while you were elsewhere.
Both of us, we were different kinds of poets,
Railway Workers first, comrades, drinkers

This koha ö ngä kupu ki aroha is from
the centre: where the break in the rail
lies. Paekakariki means Baxter whänau,

Campbell, Glover and a hundred others
who hear the magic whispers of sensual
kai-words, knowing it is ata-kahurangi in flight

Paekakariki, Waitangi Day, 2008

I hope Merata and Hone have a hongi in Heaven for me


This is to acknowledge the sad and sudden death of filmaker Merata Mita. It is a personal loss as well as a great loss to the cultural life of New Zealand Aotearoa. I knew Merata in Auckland during the 1980s and she was always a generous friend who encouraged me and enjoyed reading my early writing. Merata Mita was a waahine toa who dedicated her life to the development of Maoritanga and Paheha culture - she will be greatly missed. No reira, haere, haere, haere. Michael O'Leary - Paekakariki

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Poem #9 - Michael O'Leary

Another Dream of You, too!

After our usual denial, affirmation
Conversation, you asked me if I had
Seen U2 on TV. With indignation
I replied, as a band they aren’t bad

Although Bono annoyed me at times
With pompous utterances and demeanour.
You said they sang one of our favourite rhymes
‘With or Without You.’ Past-midnight hour

I awoke alone, and again without you
As the radio’s song faded in the night
The announcer said “from the Joshua Tree”
With or without you I can’t live, is too 
Apt a sentiment, uncannily right
As expression of the love of you and me

Friday, May 28, 2010

Poem #8 - Michael O'Leary

One Hundred Years of Desmond and Molly, Ha, Ha Ha Ha

Everything seemed exact, yet dislocated 
The old Stock Exchange building standing
In pre-neon illuminated clock flashed
An iridescent flicker onto the tramlines

The streets looked washed and clean
As after pre-Hendrix summer rain  
The time flashed again – Kuata pahi
Ono karaka – followed by the date

It was their first walk together
As the 6.15 tram to Caversham
Went clanking past they saw
16th June, 1904, written in the sky

Te tekau ma ono o nga ra o Hune;
Ko te kau kotahi mano iwa rau ma wha
Day of Days, Holies of Holies
Heaven and Earth are full of your glory

They planned a coach ride to Sandymount 
“Next Tuesday – it’s only 1s/6d each way,”
Hinengaro and Patrick Miki were in love
As James and Nora, in their own way

Doomsblay maybe amidst the smoke of battle,
But there is no battle in the smoke of Juno
Wai Rongoa now holds ten special gold medals
As they walked quickly past Dallas and Watts

All along the Boulevard de Dunedineaux
It was getting dark now and the last tram
Up the valley would soon be leaving, that waka
Entering into the strange seas of moemoeä 

From the rising cloud of a locomotive’s boiler 
A moko also appeared engraved on its surface
This Moko told an ancient story of Abelard
And his niece and their ill-fated

Kei te kata nei ano, kua mane te ngakau
A, te mutunga o taua koa he pouri . . .
The cloud face, smiling down at them
Leading them closer towards the cliffs
And they were falling, falling down
All the days from 1904, down the thousand
Miles from Tamaki-makau-rau to Otepoti – its still the same old story . . .

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 28th - Poem #7 - Michael O'Leary

For my father in prison, 1965

Doing time
                        my father would have needed time to do this
To build a table
                        made from matchsticks, our only family heirloom
Matchstick upon
matchstick held together with some kind of glue
Just like the
                        brick building which held him
Yes, that’s it
                        stone upon black stone which kept him captive
He entered through
                        the heavy, bolted steel door they held open
And when he emerged
                        he had a matchstick table and was very quiet
Each matchstick
                        represented a fragment of his life
Each fragment
                        was there outside him, set in glue, and he was a shell 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Poem #6 - Michael O'Leary

Make Love and War

(for Ani)


The last train is about to leave
In fact, has left . . .
The cradle of Western Civilization
Is under siege
As the Euphrates burns, a river of flames
Set alight this past decade
By the twin towers of a double burning bush
The new manifestation of Western Civilization
Is engulfing and eating its own parents
USA, teenager of the world
New kid on the old block
With raging hormones of revenge . . .
The last train has pulled out
From the stations of My Lai and Fallujah and Lidice
It doesn’t matter who’s killing ya
If you’re being killed
Talking to someone who fought in Vietnam
Who witnessed the murder of women and children
He claims the SS troops were more honest
Than the Black Hawks up . . .


My love comes to me
And baring her beautiful breasts
Before my loving gaze
And soft caress
She gives me the gift
Only a young woman
Can bestow on an older man . . .
The strange healing, and holding up of a mirror
The touch of the goddess . . .
And no matter how humble
His or her beginnings have been
That gift of love, of aroha
Although tainted by temporal concerns
Cannot be lost, as the flow
Of life loosens itself
From its strictures . . .



The doors after perception, open
As does the grave
The tomb beckons to . . .
            The hikoi of Hope
            The procession of Enough
            The long line to the Unknown Soldier
Wending its way through the Wellington streets
Like a river of remembrance  . . .
When its all over
The soldiers remind me of death
My young love’s breasts remind me of love
And now she is gone
And who will say
            “Did you miss me?” 

Google Affiliate Network: Finding and Building Product-Specific Links

Google Affiliate Network: Finding and Building Product-Specific Links

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mercedes - poem #5 - Michael O'Leary

Mercedes (a mythological tale)


. . . these great cars that are chequered in history
evoking triumph and murder, power and destruction
should have been named after some myth or legend
from ancient Greece or Rome


for such is their place in life
they do roam
their parts well oiled and greased
and after a good guzzle of petroleum
are ready to take on the world . . .


at least
this is how we found them
when we zoomed to a halt
up Queen Street on a Friday night
with Benito front-seat driving
chauffeur cap in hand
Baronial and Earlier in back
dishing out beer and cognac
latter-day loaves and fishes
miraculously turning wine into water
- even the car turned blue
an appropriate hue
and crying into the lonesome night
(take that, you old V8 mon!!!)


ragged reggae
just the other day
ten years after
me and my baby
are travelling towards money town
this time the Merc is gold
and I’m travelling, am old
but not shaken, although something is stirred
by her very presence
and she says she feels beautiful
she is young, and I am happy as we
drive together through the end of evening


and these great cars that are chequered in history
swastika symbol of up-front power, like der zug
evoking triumph and murder, power and destruction
are also vehicles of aroha and friendship as her hand
tightens delightfully over mine

Poem #4 - Michael O'Leary

Elegy for Diana Parsons

Like many things at Seacliff
Your pain and suffering
Were hidden behind beauty

Those tree-lined paths
Leading up to your house
Veiled the violence

Domestic, they call it
Your children, also beautiful
Bore it silently

Justin would talk aloud
To his pet magpie
Which dive-bombed

The village, talking to
Grace on the bus coming home
From Dunedin, the Coast Road

Radiant or sullen and dark
Depending on its mood
Like your husband

The history of Seacliff
Is your history, whether
It was the wonder of

Watching your other daughters
Donna and Juliet grow and bloom
Or the mythological Red

Always in the background
With his motorbike, yeah!
And, then your own aroha

Monday, May 24, 2010

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

Poem #3 - Michael O'Leary

Irony and Impressionism in the Twenty-first Century
(for Harvey and Carmen)

The full facial moko, designed to provoke
Fear and loathing in ordinary folk
Really covered up the sorrow and hurt
That you carried inside from your birth

The big, muscled body, tats and patch
Told a tale to the world, don’t scratch
Beneath the surface of this Mongrel
This impression that all is not well

When a person’s wairua is lonely, sad
They often join a Mob that is bad
Not the Monet Mob of soft images
But the one that outwardly outrages

After all these years to see you on a dialysis machine
Your moko now shows aroha, your eyes are serene

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Painting

I have begun a new painting titled: 'A Cure for Love' as a commission for my friend Peter Trewern of NZ Book auctions. It is a surrealist landscape along with a guitar-woman's body motif, red sky, silver mountains, a cup that runneth over among other things.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pukapuka Books integrates with Amazon Associates

Pukapuka Books is proud to integrate further with Amazon.com to facilitate further our ability to bring to our customers a better service in finding books and other products. We are already an affiliate with Amazon and this latest step will bring a more customized aspect for people who are searching for particular things through our website.