Piet Nieuwland – We must invite…

Nieuwland LE Aotearoa NZ P&W April 2023

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Live Encounters Aotearoa New Zealand Poets & Writers April 2023

We must invite…, poems by Piet Nieuwland

We must invite, entering the time of orange

Entering the time of orange we must invite
the albatross with wings of oceanic silver
scrawling clematis vines from Tutukaka headlands
nikau palms bursting hot with creamy ignitions
wahine of kakariki articulations and friends all violet
and friends all blue, childhood tastes of grapefruit, and plum,
our descendants carved from the obsidian night sky, harriers
that sweep past the open window,
We must invite our birthdays, each one and the months
with skeletal hands, faces in photographs, youngsters
with velvet wings and the ones with scarlet shoes,
perfumes of trees happy in the stillness at sunrise,
and musicians of the macrocosm, luminous brides of Algeria
and curiosity like the morning calls of roosters, resurgent tree seeds
that take root in the rivers alluvium, uncles with soft hands of steel and
aunties overflowing with knitted woolen cardigans, the strange
yet familiar person waiting at the bus stop, absence of the automobile,
grandmothers in swirling skirts baking scones, grandfathers growing
apocalypses of beans and whose potatoes spill as egg like jewels
from the dark soil,
We must invite pohutukawa shade, the sweet smell of panforte
And we must invite Tangaroa

With Thursdays

With Tuesdays long as the Pleistocene
Im talking about poets who sing in grimy halls, rowdy libraries and quiet bars
Im not talking about the greasy theorems of Kentucky fried chicken
I am talking about the weight of sunlight falling
I am not talking about hallucinating priests or the wet dreams of corporate raiders
I am talking about cotyledons of legumes and rituals of fruit
I am talking about the great grey eyeless swaying of the ocean
I am not talking about brands of shampoo, car tires or rugby sponsorship deals
I am not talking about the number of cows, plastic pollution or the population of cars
I am talking about the area of native forest, nut tree crops and the frequency of trains
I am talking about lively fluid dancers and their intricate artistry
I am not talking about more motorways or traffic congestion
I am talking about riparian planting, electric buses and community gardens
I am talking about Thursdays

At this distance

At this distance
in the solitude of sky
the great entangled forest shrieks with parrots
amongst adjectival masses of leaves

Born into the algebra of wind
and the thick movement of the oceanic night
we are nourished by tears of monsoons falling
on fields foaming with vegetables and grains
and the passionate foliages of orchards and quantities layered
by autumn and forgotten blood
and the moistness of soil knitting underfoot
when the infinite kiss of morning mist
opens itself into the headlong rush
of rivers of violas filled with red wine
and rooster calls overflowing
into the turbid blue

© Piet Nieuwland

Piet Nieuwland has poetry appearing in Aotearoa/New Zealand and internationally in numerous print and online journals. He is a performance poet, a visual artist, co-edits the annual Northland anthology Fast Fibres Poetry. His new books of poetry As light into water and We enter the are published by Cyberwit. https://www.pietnieuwland.com/

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