Name: Daniel Harrison
country : New Zealand
A Little Bit Of Information About The Artist:

The primary influences upon my work are my life as an adopted person and my
training as a healer for four and half years at a Marae. My poems deal with
love, loss, forgiveness, and the journey towards spiritual wholeness. Some
of my work has directly dealt with my life as an adopted person and these
poems have been used as a source of healing by many adopted people and birth
mothers throughout the country. My fondest memory of writing poetry is that
of writing poems for the many people who attended our healing wananga's
throughout the country. How I came to be involved in such an enterprise is
another story. What I can say is that my journey through life has taken me
through many identities be it as a sometime communist, healer, lover and
writer. My poetic influences, on the other hand, are far to numerous to
mention. I would however, not hesitate to mention the poets Hone Tuwhare,
James.K. Baxter, Apirana Taylor,Roma Potiki and Sam Hunt. I would also have
to include the music of Split Enz because it is so wonderfully evocative of
the New Zealand landscape. In regards to painters, the painters that I most
admire are Colin McCahon and Ralph Hotere. Like the previously mentioned
artists I share a great love of the New Zealand landscape and wish to
reflect this love through my writing. The collection of poetry that you are
about to read can be seen as a journey with me through the New Zealand
landscape as I attempt to grapple with issues such as love, loss and
forgiveness in my search for a higher spiritual understanding of my life as
an adopted person. I trust that you enjoy the journey. Before we begin,
however, I would like to share with you a little bit more information about
my work.

Published Poetry

In 1994 I completed a work that was called 'The Tui Sings Cry Freedom For
the Lost Children: A Series of Poems About Adoption'. This collection was
published in 1994 by Uni Print in the Book `Adoption, Past, Present and
Future' edited by Pauline J Morris.

In 1996 two of my poems were published in 'Whakarongo Ki te Awa: Listen to
the River' a collection of creative writing and artwork from the Waikato
published by Old Farm Press and edited by Paul Smith and Richard Hamilton.

In 1997 I completed a new collection of poetry on adoption, that had the
title 'Towards the World of Light',

In 1998 I self published a collection of poetry called 'This Land Will Sing:
Poems In Honour Of Aotearoa'. This collection was given to friends and Marae
around the country. It was also regularly recited by a Kuia on Akaroa Radio.

In 1999 two of poems were published by 4/2 Press in Volume Four of 'Tongue
in Your Ear', Auckland, edited by Judith McNeil

Current Projects

I am working on a book about my life as an adopted person. This work will be
comprised of prose and poetry.

I am working towards publishing a new book of poetry by the end of this

I am in the midst of establishing a working relationship with an artist who
may use some of my poetry for her paintings based on the land.

I am working in collaboration with a musician with a view towards life
performances in Auckland.
If you are interested in publishing my work or in any collaborative
endeavors please do not hesitate to contact me at
Feedback on my work is also welcomed.

Live Poetry Performances

I have engaged in live performances of my poetry for over ten years. I
currently perform my poetry at Poetry Live Auckland.

1998: I worked with the photographer David Legge in order to construct a
multi - media presentation of 'Towards The World of Light', which was
presented by myself at an international conference on adoption and healing
at Lincoln University. I then presented this work with the photographer to a
group of students at the Tagata Pasifica training academy in Auckland.

2000: Guest Poet Akaroa Radio for the Year 2ooo Celebration.

2001: Guest Poet Poetry Live

2002: Guest Poet Poetry Live

2002: Third Place New Zealand Montana Poetry Day Poetry Slam.


The Journey Begins:


Where the horizon falls
Still it will come away
On this still point of tenderness
Like an avalanche
It abates me still
And I cannot
Turn away from here
This headland
Of tenderness
Where the fires burn bright
Into the horizon of memory
Take away the stars
One by one
But there's a light still burning
There's a light
That draws me
Across still water
And I am turned
Inside out
By the moon
Light as a feather
In search of lost possessions
Hoping that your memory
Won't find me here
That I will no longer
See your face
Not here
Not now
Curl into the blackness
Draw down the shades
Lock the doors
Check all the windows
Turn the lights down low
Only to see you reappear
At the headland
Of memory
Where the horizon falls
Honey I am at a loss for words
I just don't know what to do
Your memory
It abates me
Abates me still

John Rang

John rang last night
Like a hurricane ripping through the phone
Angry words.
Asking below it all.
Do you still love me
For who I am
Will you listen
Will you tolerate
Will you understand
My pain
Everybody else
Every adult in my life
Has abandoned me
They locked me up
They refused to listen
The made me a ward of the State
They put me in Ward 12
They put me in Tokanui
Though countless foster homes
In prison
They refused to understand
The pain of losing my parents
Called me abnormal
Expelled me from school at the age of five
And put me amongst the mentally handicapped
In all manner of total institutions
I'm crying brother
Don't you understand
My mother
My adopted family didn't want me
Separated me from you at the age of eight
Turned us against each other
You were always the good one
Why did they keep you and not me
You had it easy
Seen so much
Too much has happened
Can't speak to anyone about it
It's all too painful brother
Can you feel my pain
Can you hear my tears
My primal wound it screams
I bury it in drugs and alcohol
It's all I can do
The police pick on me
Arrest me all the time
I hate authority
Got Fuck The World tattooed on my fingers
Is it any wonder
Are you listening brother?
They turned us against each other
All the time
Remember when our adopted father
Got you to beat me up
All because I broke your pick up sticks
How we fought before you left at fifteen
And He laughed
How you refused to take me with you
Ah I remember all those things
I'd like to kill those bastards
Put him in an acid bath
Fuck them man
And now they want nothing to do with me
Nah man
Don't want to meet our real parents
They're no different from the rest
That real father of ours
Have you seen him lately?
Huh, you said that he would write to me
What did I tell you
He doesn't give a fuck
Ah, fuck you to
You don't understand
Your successful and all that
University degree
Real society
You don't understand me
Or the people that I run with
Probably think that you're too good for me
When are you coming down to see me?
Nah, won't come to Auckland
Prefer Nelson
Only get in trouble in Auckland
Cops know me there
Anyway, big cities scare me
I'm scared brother
You rejected me too brother
How can I trust you
Kicked me out from our flat in Parnell
Because of the Dak and me drink
Then I really hit it didn't I
Tell me brother
Do you feel guilty
You always had it easy
Everybody turns on me
Remember my first court case
A real sham
Accused of rape and of pissing on Tobin's pool table
What a bitch
Yet more people turning on me
My only mate's Brian
We flat together
Saved me from OD'ing five times
Don't try to stop my drugs and alcohol
I'm me
Accept me for who I am
In all my pain
Got Hepatitis B
Should stop drinking
But fuck it
What's death
Can you hear me crying brother
I miss ya man
I miss ya heaps
When ya coming down to see me man
I'm crying brother
When ya coming down
Coming down to see me man

First Published as part of a collection of poems 'TheTui Sings Cry Freedom
for the Lost Children' in the book 'Adoption, Past, Present, Future', I am
proud to say that my twin brother has now totally turned his life around and
as such serves as an inspiration to us all.

And You Know That You Have Gone Too Soon

And you know
That you have gone too soon
Like the kowhai's bloom
Your delicate yellow blush
Quietly swept up
By the rough hands of time
Sending you golden
Shimmering, tossing and turning
Away from me
While the tubular bells of the kowhai
Did toll for you
But for one short season
In your memory
Showering blossoms on sacred ground
My tears
And you
Away from me
To the soft shade of the kanuka tree
Where I quietly bury my tears
Under star blossoms
In a flax kete filled with your sacred treasures
As a farewell
A koha to your memory
A tangi
For your spirit
Farewell my friend
You have gone
Too soon
Too soon
Leaving my heart
Filled with pohutukawa blossoms
Whose blood red bloom
Rain tears
In place of your presence
That has flown north
To Te Reinga
Soon to scale Akakite
Where the maiden
Hine Nui te Po
Lovingly calls you
To Rangi
Your soul
Like a kowhai
No longer here to rain down upon me
Golden sunlight
Because you have
Gone too soon my friend
That's all I have to say
Gone too soon
Too soon

This poem was Self-published in a collection of titled 'This Land Will Sing:
Poems in Honor of Aotearoa'.


There will come a day
When I will cease
To see my reflection
There will come a day
When there is nothing
To see anymore
There will come a day
When my heart
My memories
Have gone
There will come a day
When all that I have held
So dear
Will have disappeared
From me

Nowhere To Hide

Down by the shore line
We are counting
Numberless stars
Your days
They are numbered
In flax ketes
Of tenderness
And where do you hide?
Down by the shore
Under the flax leaves
Of pale green
We will find you
We will hunt you down
With the truth
Your days are numbered
And this
This has come to pass
We have fishhooks
Made of bone
That glint and lure
With the paua
We will tempt you
We will entice you
We will spear you
Like a fish
There is no escape
From this waka
You are coming


You are
A lonely old sun
Making black and white circles
Upon the ocean
Love will find you
One day
And make you
A boat
For the journey


Has swept away
All that was not
Between us
Waiting for the right words
To come
And unfold
The knowledge
That we are
In search of
I sat in your room
And admired
All your lost possessions
Strewn across the floor
.My love
What has come between us?
.And now
I would like
To hang up
Some pretty pictures
Something to lighten the load
That we carry
Last night
.I dreamt
That we were
Rivers on a journey
White water
Washing clean
The dust
And stains
Of our existence
.Last night
I saw a fern frond
Unfold it's dark brown
Towards the sky
Where the stars
Were waiting to greet us
While the moon
Looked down
And smiled
Over a quiet ocean
Of tenderness
.I woke up this morning
Just searching
For the right words
Between us


If I could say
What she meant
I would
But the light
Fades too quickly
Behind the nikau palms
At Kare Kare
.The pohutukawa
Are in bloom
Another season
Another cycle of growth
Has passed
What words
Have I left
To describe it
.My lover
Rises from the bed
Opens the curtains
And kisses my head
She is dressed in nothing
.I reach out
My hands
And try to explain
What I am feeling
But my thoughts
Wash away
Too fast
Like a river
In search of something
This year
I cried
Because of all the beauty
In a leaf
A tree
A hill
A person
A flower
This year
I cried
I could not see it
My wairua
Rose up to kiss me
Like the morning sun
Only to recede like a wave
Leaving me
Feeling tired
And abandoned
.This year
Has been a year of searching
The far off horizon
In search of an answer
That appears
Only to vanish
Like the pohutukawa blossom
At the end of summer


Swinging softly
In a flax basket
We are not
Who we think
We are
Still reaching
Ever reaching
For the hands
Of God.
Hands of fire
Spinning on the wheel
Always rushing
Over golden water
And absinthe
Like wine
Those hands
Are still reaching
Towards my heart
From burning water.
I am not ready
To leave this place
But you have changed me.
I feel different
So different
Like aroha
In a flax basket
From the branch
Of a cabbage tree
Just hanging
Over a polished river stone
Of love
Swept clean
By running water
In the many hands
Of God
.I woke up today
Only to feel
So different
So different
Waiting for the light to come

The Journey Towards Love

Let us cross
Our hands together
So that they never meet.
You can call that
An act of faith
A bridge that we have to cross
A wide ocean
That needs to be traversed
In order
To reach
.And you know
That I wish
That I had never said
Or been that
But we are human
After all
Forgive me
If you will
But I must
Cross over
To the other side
To the land of hearts
To the Promised Land
Where faith
Takes the place
Of blood

Leaving Here

And we will leave here
Like the rain
Draped in leaves of aroha
Carry me home
Towards the light
And place me in fertile soil
Amongst the fern fronds
And bracken
Where I can listen
To strange songs of love
Through the pink blossoms
Of the manuka
In a wild place
A sacred place
Of stones
And memory
You are
We are
Older than the hills
Of memory
And so wrap me
Hold me
In your dark cloak
Your sacred cloak
Of longing

In A Dream

And so it came to me
In a dream
You just perched up in a tree
Singing of a sacred place
A special place
You were calling me
To the tapu mountain
With a voice
So sweet
So tender
And I was
Lying in bed
At the time
Feeling like grass
Blown by a summer breeze
So soft
So tender
Breathing in the smell
Of summer
Remembering when
I was a child
Staring in wonder
At the world
Around me
And I just wanted
I just really wanted
To explain
I longed
To follow you
To this sacred place
But words
Fail me
How can I explain
Songs of love
Songs of aroha
Blown down
From the tops
Of a sacred mountain
Te Mata peak
Te Mata peak
You are calling me


The clouds
Fall down
Today we are rising
Out of slumber
Don't look back
To the road
That has come
Between us
It's all right
As we pull back the blinds
With only
The morning sun
To greet us
And do you remember
Remember well
The tears that have fallen
Like rain
Leaving nothing
In their place
But tender memories
We melt like the sun
It won't be the first time
It won't be the last
But that's
Falling like the leaves
Of the trees
Out yonder
Is not like
Today is a new day
Awakening from
Golden slumber
Yes today
Is a day
Like no other


And it was then
That he began to feel
The nascent beauty
In his own heart
In a raindrop
In the leaves that fell from the trees
And that is I
And you are me
That river
Of pure consciousness
Of light unbroken
We were never lost or broken
No I had only
These hands
These feet
My eyes
My breath
The living light
This hidden tenderness
When bound
To the wheel
Of Illusion
But now
I have flown my cage
Like a dove
Rising towards
The sun
Leaving behind
All that was undone
That all
Is complete
Right here
Right now
No words
Left to speak
Just running water
Towards the stream
The perfect flower
The perfect dream
That was once
Bound up
In suffering
We hammer in the nails
Of our own choosing
Only to wake
And walk free
When all is done
Is done
What is there left to say?

All Works Copyright Daniel Harrison 2003