blackmail press 26
Jai McDonald
New Zealand

from: Angipanis of the Abanimal People - Andy Leleisi'auo
Jai McDonald is currently studying at Auckland University under the wings of Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh. Jai is another new and exciting "pasifika" poet / spoken word artiste. Jai recently competed in the Montana Poetry Day Slam 2009 and placed 1st ruuner up in the finals, with stirring and heartfelt poems. For a young man Jai writes with real courage and conviction to his beliefs and values. Jai's poetry is described as, 'engaging, confrontational, intelligent, Jai is the Mohammad Ali of New Zealand's Spoken word poetry scene, he flows like a butterfly and stings like a bee!' -Doug Poole editor blackmail press & montana poetry day slam 2009 judge.
These Hands

Tools of creation
Imprints in life’s memories
Abilities to build foundations
Rule above nations
And help others across busy roads

Used for public forms of affection
And block the gasps of mouths
Peek a boo never looked this sweet
Without these key players

Yet pessimists of these much needed ligaments experiment with what they can do/
These hands were never meant to bruise/
Never meant to abuse and to be used/
In ways that the same little ones that hold onto them are also held by them/
Shaken and taken away by them/led away instead of being led by them/

These hands were never meant to be murderous weapons/
Never were they to be the cause of cries but were to be wipers and cradles of tears/
Their touch was to bring comfort and safety/
Not uncertainty and fear/they were to be sturdy not unpredictable in its shape/
Life lines were not to be shortened on your hands due to the acts of mine/

These hands are made to write the stories of life/
To paint the backdrop of our futures/To illustrate love by being encircle with a ring of commitment
And to express emotions from the tip of a finger/

These hands can be the masterminds of mathematics/
Not the teachers of discipline/
One point can send species to follow a command/yet the hand itself sends three strongly back

These hands are the healers/the miracle workers of human existence
These hands are the first to bring in new and to bury deceased life/
The voice of an hearing impaired world/or the cornerstone of the blind/

With an identity place on every pair we leave our print for the world to remember
Are our fingerprints of these ligaments imprinted in people on these souls or on their throats/
Do they tell a story – or do they choke/do they yell out with emotion or bring emotions to screams/do they hush the room’s silence/or create the violence in scenes?

Only with these idle hands can they decide if they want to go wandering
These tools of gladness or distress
Key players to build or quick to undress
Rest folded reverently or outwardly to be scene
These are the possible personalities for these hands to be

Life's Camera

As my life flashes before my eyes
I shudder to think about the thought my third eye shuttered
And think is my life picture perfect?

Do I see the bigger picture or am I viewing it as a negative?
Are my lives visuals viewed through my lens or are my iris looking more eyeless?
Or is my life unfolded and processed in a 24 hour exposure that is exposed to experience?

Is my family having Kodak moments and our camera’s memory master card making those moments priceless?
Are my problems in focus or are the fine details optically zoomed in times three/or have I upgraded my difficulties with a five time zoom by over thinking about it?
These are the times I think I need my batteries recharged

My days may have dark clouds spoil with rain/so I sit in a dark room or see a flash of light that illuminates and reflects my silver lining
Oh shoot/am I just a blown up portrait of self timed image/I must not see with tunnel vision but expand out to the landscape

To get by I must be bold even though my ego gets my face booked/and twitter around so I can comfortably put my image into my space/even if I manually get into the digital world I still need to move my image/and to let go of some that have been stored in my photographic memory or internal gallery/and even filter out some of my personal megapixels

My life can be a PowerShot/ and even I have moments of Fine Pix/and still remember those CyberShots of Cool Pix/that made life godlike like those of Olympus/
But things cannot be viewed that bad – even Jesus Christ died on a positive/so I must keep my lens opened while taking pictures with life’s camera to ensure my life’s journey.... always seems to click.


From the warm comfort of a mother’s bosom a new born is placed to rest on a pillow
It acts as a comfort/as a support/our first representation of a cloud of heaven here on earth/
A toddler rests quicker on its caress/
It is these times my pillow is a parent

Whether it is hard as the Papa bear stated/or just right like his son confirmed in bliss/
When I got a sore ass or needed to elevate my swollen ankle/you were there as if you were some personification/
When 1 was not enough but 3 was a headache all in the space of tossing and turning within a minute/
It is these times my pillow is a healer

If pillows could talk – but wait that is what we as humans do/we pillow talk/cheesy like talk/we look into each other’s eyes/a poet and poetess/or two of the same/resting in their lame world of sweet perfection/philosophical minds that only open up on 40/60 feathered down/or goose pure feathers and not to mention the buckwheat gown/
It is these times my pillow is a counsellor

They were prized commodities in olden Asia and even the wealthy pharaohs were founded with them in tombs/such cherished comfort so why not give a voice to them as they protect our rooms/
I am not speaking of its cousins/cushions and toss pillows can move aside/the spotlight is on the larger kind/the mother of all softness that even battles paper that is 4 ply/
It is these times my pillow grew in value

Teenagers especially of the female specie can use them in late night wars/with feathers sprinkled on the floor or when fallen weapon attacks to the head/hostility only finds a place when the blow was of intentional force/these fights can be used all night and are always subjected to battle cries of laughter/so in a way it brings sound relief/
It is these times my pillow is the centre of attention

It can soak up tears of those offended by the outside world/how many tears mine had drowned in but yet did not look at me any different and was willing to be a shoulder for me when I had nowhere to go to and I felt alone/It is these times my pillow is my friend/

When boxing bags were too expensive/my fists released it and the pillow took it like a man/It took my emotions and anger of whatever frustration I had/and in a way always said “Give it to me”/the pain was always sent to me in puffing the thing back up for the rematch/
It is these times my pillow took one for the boys

When making love was made silent from the other half screaming joys of ecstasy into the pillow’s ears/how jealous I was of that cos this piece of bedding blocked out the good parts/yet it acted as a mute button when my parents were at each other’s throats and having it float on my head covering my ears took me away from fear/to a distant imagination away from here/well I thought that when I could not hear the screams/it is these times my pillow is a listener

And when the old or the unfortunate pass in a better life/they rest prepared in a box lined with the same comfort that they felt whilst in physical life/they are protected and the pillow becomes all of its qualities in one precise everlasting moment/the pillow becomes that for the dead/a cloud of heaven here on earth and a place to lay ones head /just like it was when the dead had first arrived into earthly existence/
It is these times my pillow – is much more than just a pillow.