Rachael Hoffman - Spence
New Zealand
Beautiful Carnage

Objects thought indestructible
dumped and shattered,
scattered carelessly along
the sacred place, tapu

Dead lay
buried by ocean,
releasing objects,
once live sources of their own mana

Glistening blue, green rainbows
In shells of cups
broken and now
sun-faded; destroyed.

This is the beautiful place
of carnage.
For under these shells lie
stones and under these stones
are bones
of those who found the beautiful place
but suffered at the hand of greed.
In time
the beautiful place returns
and the carnage is merely a story.

At 46.5 degrees south (1)

Sunsets behind Tongaroa
the backdrop greys
two people walk closely
up the beach,
I imagine their conversation

Jealousy sets in

The island ahead looks
of black jagged rock
gulls fly out there, then,
turn back, afraid

Anger awakens me

At 46.5 degrees south
the shellfish wait for the
high tide and people walk
together and gulls fly

Perception is my enemy

At 46.5 degrees south (2)

I wait for you
didn’t I tell you
to meet me here?

why this is where we always meet
you, and me
and Papatuanuku

they’re coming back now
conversation or time exhausting them
orange sun reflects from The Other Side,
on grey clouds
a small sea makes its way to high

and the day is finishing
for better, or worse,
but forever.

A Will(ing) Prayer

When I go Lord,

Do not ignore me, six foot under
trapped with worms to keep me company
a wooden box to confine me
and Sunday visitors who come through guilt
or worse still, habit

Do not whisp my ashes
around the world
exposed to flight with scouring southerly winds
shut out and nomadic
feared for the cold we will bring

No, you bastard son of Mary
holier than thou?
I ask of you, give me to Tangaroa
for in this God I depend

Your testaments, prophets and saints
popes, sin and judgement
have bought me only guilt.
however sir I give you credit
your salesmen must be on commission

together Tangaroa; lets slip out the backdoor
take me, swallow me
let me finally be whole

Bio: Poetry, writing and words are for me the link between my conscious functional daily reality and my soul, my heart, my voice.

I wrote my first “book” (4 A4 pages folded in half and Very Neatly Stapled) at age 10. Its purpose was to convince my mother to buy me a horse. Unfortunately I never got the horse, but it never stopped me writing.

At 20, and after a suicide attempt, my counsellor suggested I write about my feelings. At the time I thought it pointless, but pages and pages later I realise it has been a key to my awakening, of that connection to my inner self.

Now, at 28, I am taking a leap of faith to take my poems off the shelf, email them out of my hard drive, and see what happens…