Noelle Nive Moa
New Zealand

Karakia Precari - Penny Howard 2016
I am a mother, wife, artist, maker and crafter. Hailing from Auckland, I now live in Sydney, Australia and miss creamed donuts and orange chocolate chip ice cream terribly.

The avenues are packed with them
said the old ladies to one another
first avenue
all the way to the fourth
their dreadlocks
beating against their backs
to the hypnotic flow of the bass and the funde
the waves of the Caribbean
crash against the shores of Polynesia
but the navigators’ children beat them back
refusing to lay out the fala to welcome them in.
And the lo’omatuas’ lock their windows tight
yet hide behind the lace
their narrowed eyes
and narrowed minds
keep stock of the strangeness
That Is Not Their Own
a mental inventory
cataloguing size and dimensions
modern day eugenics in the light of dawn.

An Empress sits on her steps
blowing haloes in the air
her laughing eyes look skyward
another planeload passes by
life’s hard in this concrete jungle
these migrants will attest
but intimidation looms
within the pews
and behind white satin.

Praise be Haile Selassie
To Zion they will row.

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
His life’s 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
They called him

Were those words
Painted across his inner canvas
Words he could not pronounce
His English                            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 Street
Wherever he be
Wherever he lie
I wish him well
That guy called Fly.