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Joy Green
New Zealand

Tui Taonga 1-5 Penny Howard
Joy Green has been writing for most of her life, and has published poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the US.
A native Brit, she emigrated with her family to New Zealand in 1994. She lives in Ashhurst, Manawatu where she teaches writing papers at Massey.
How to Dance

You will need:

One red dress:

the fabric doesn't matter, and,
really, nor does the colour and,
if you like,
it can be jeans and a t-shirt;
it must have red-dressness
that essence that fills you up,
like fuel, with throw-your-shoulders-back,
look-at-the-sky, breathe-deep-and-fast
spinning energy,
and makes you into a flame.

A space:

to fill with your weaving,
wondering wildness;
to inhabit and transform
from vacancy
into flickering
light and shadows.
You could close your eyes
and find it behind them.


to give you a rhythm
to lead your steps
bongos are good,
snare drums, timpani,
but still, feel free to
click your tongue,
or use the cadence of
your pulse.

Das Brot der frühen Jahre
(The Bread of the early years)

Böll wrote of childhood
and of bread:
of breaking its spine
exposing its entrails
and devouring the belly
of it, still warm,
like a starved wolf.

The smell of yeast rises
from the page, fills your nose;
you feel the soft flesh, the words
cramming every crevice
of your eager mouth and mind
The pulse pound in
your temples.
You are a bloodless,
but still slavering,

Böll taught me
my favourite way to read.