blackmail press 32
Noelle Nive Moa
New Zealand

Moka's Utu - Penny Howard
I hail from Auckland, NZ but I have been living in Sydney, Australia with my family for the last few years. My background is in the visual arts but I love to write. I have been published in Niu Voices: Contemporary Pacific Fiction I (2006), Blackmail Press 24 and JAAM29. My short story 'A Mother's Love' was broadcast on The Book Reading Program on Radio New Zealand (Oct 2010).
       the 12 tribes of kingsland
       reggae music blares from memories gone
       long-haired dreadlocks swing by on every avenue
       sittin on their balconies and smokin it mon
       lava lavas billow from open windows next door
       hibiscus flowers float along the haze feelin irie
       till the old lady walks out with her salu and waves her fist
       unimpressed by the impressive lion that looms large on its flag
       undulating in that aukilani wind
       like the bustling life in the rockpools of Lotoalofa
       the old lady forgets being awoken at dawn
       as she points her finger at the dreaded dreads
       and accuses them of not washing their hair
       they laugh and clap
       because they feelin irie
       and she holds her salu outstretched
       her arm pumping in the air
       and they are reminded
       of one love
       and they call out,
       hey no woman no cry.

      Fly on the Wall

       they say he hitched a ride
       on the wheels of a plane
       he unfurled his frozen fingers
       to touch the Manukau Heads
       as he soared through the clouds
       and drank his fill

       he lived across from us
       this guy called Fly
       he wandered the streets
       like a man
       not a bird

       he wore his coat
       like a uniform
       spreading his arms like a bat
       perhaps that's how he got his name
       this guy called Fly

       no wall no fence
       was spared
       as he attacked them
       with his colourful arsenal
       hidden beneath those wings

       he called himself an artist
       the Polynesian Basquiat
       venerated by his peers
       sneered at by his elders
       who called him vandal

       were those words
       painted across his inner canvas
       words he couldn't pronounce
       his engrish
       a by-product of detached relatives
       and affronted shopkeepers

       so he learnt to keep his mouth shut
       and spoke with his hands
       traversing through tunnels
       and scaling bridges
       trying to capture that feeling
       of what he'd left behind

       he found that feeling
       packaged and wrapped
       in a bag bursting with silver glittery stars
       and he was transported to the heavens
       strapped to the back of Ados
       who bore his weight
       through clouds of nebulae
       and celestial dust storms

       I hear the beating of wings
       soar through the open sky
       and I wonder what happened to my neighbour
       of Yesteryear Avenue
       wherever he be
       wherever he lie
       I wish him well
       that guy called Fly