Name: Sue Baker Wilson
country : New Zealand

Sue Baker Wilson lives in a small coastal village where she most likes to garden in her pyjamas, follow the winter sun from window to window to snatch little sun kisses and from a bank overlooking the sea listen to music. She enjoys dabbling in digital art and photography, surrounding her world in colours of
orange and vibrant pink and playing with halogen coloured nightscapes.
Encouraged by friends to write, poetry has become a way of interpreting her

Laying claim

One spring day, close to the equinox
pale moon held in daylit sky
orca came, 17 of the remaining 200
sailing through harbour's entrance
Ancestral feeding ground

Dark lines of imported pine
stood watchful guard
where native pingao
cling to sand dune

Tall dorsal fins, five in a row
black primeval triangles
navigate past
Silent, blue-grey mountains
wrap sea depths

a perfect balance of Ancients
oblivious to:

Council in chamber
keen to catch fishermen's vote
planning marina
as orca power surge
cross harbour's narrowest point

Competing cash strapped
whale-saving groups
bickering 'caring' organisations

manuhiri  pakeha, the Crown
up and down the nation
at hui
debate 'ownership'
of seabed & shore

An age before
Te Hokioi, descendant of the star Rehua
largest, most powerful mountain eagle
the world has ever known
could not soar, yet
still claimed Aotearoa airspace
till Polynesian colonisation reshaped the land

Wind and clouds came
Black feathered Hokioi, tinged with colour
head of red
into the heavens

rock drawings
skeletons carefully reconstructed
National museums

What have we learned

© Sue Baker Wilson 2003

Persistence of memory

Rock tumbled entrance
guards forgotten cave
bleached rat skull
A warning

Broken blue china
pierces debris
layers of invading 'civilization' & 'culture'
smother your existence

Yet, you are there still
on Sentinel Rock
eyes cast over the horizon
to islands pointing high

Layers of cloud shroud time
catch dreams
wind carrying waiata
voices, welcome me home

I feel your mouth open
words slip in
breath a life of their own
Your taste on my lips
spirit to spirit
shared life force

No time, no space
no barriers


New Beginnings

One hot summer's day
beneath sheltering trees at beach edge
we lay on crushed eucalyptus leaves
Tender hands smoothed fragrant skin
Our universe sighed

Soft warm rain fell
blanketing our abandonment
as lovers we created our own flying space
Surf pounding on green edged shores
became a distant roar

Time was pulled into our slipstream
and in your eyes I became beautiful once again

That next day I loosened my hair
let the wind play its length
skin bathed as I sang
to the morning sun
Honoured the new day

At Listening Point twelve dolphins
spoke of water funnel wisps
drawing sea to sky

Water and light embraced
warmed a water-worn stone
The earth laughed in flowers
and at last I smiled with it


When did writing poetry
become an exercise for mind games
and you the scribble pad for emotion 

Teetering on the edge
I prostituted feelings
to play stilted scrabble

When did exploration of self
expressions of love
become yet another wall

Pages of hieroglyphics
Judas soul still wandering


It seemed
our universe was an expanding realm
Sandy water licked our souls
as lovers we wept salty tears
Yet our evolving story of creation
was only playing itself out
A luminescent explosion of cosmic gas
became a dying star
leaving only a waning ember
a nondescript white dot in the cosmos
And I, dusty debris
clawing to find the meaning of life

Home Kill

Prime dairy beef
slipped and fell, unable to walk
unceremoniously carted from the butchers
skinned, gutted, raw flesh exposed
on the back of a white tip truck

My brothers and I sharpened knives
steeled blade edge cutting sharp
Our dogs, happy benefactors of a casualty cow
bounced around us, eyes wide
appealing for titbits, sliced and carved
fought over a bone tossed to one side

All the while, we dissected
family members, normally culled
from conversation
Cousin Bob, caretaker to estranged Grandmother
milked her estate dry
Aunty May, pain spanning barren years
Mother had long stopped talking about her

Pieces of meat, hacked and packed
the waste, pared bones, some connective tissue
dumped down a deep offal hole
out of sight
lid replaced


From a place in the future, I dream
Buffeted by wind, long hair
storm swept kelp

I stand strong on Sentinel Rock
Defying ocean wave, defying wind
Defying time

From the beginning, from the ending
From a great darkness, you have stood
Watching the same waters, we watch together now
Waters once paddled by my ancestors

We are an island amongst
a galaxy of starfish

Te Kapu-Rangi, Arawa chief's daughter
Great, great grandmother
You saved by ruse, your own people
Once, you were a bright star of Matariki

From this place, I hear you call
Nau mai Haere mai,
Haere Haere 

Matakite - seer, second sight, prophecy, intuition
Matariki - the Pleiades, legend has that the stars shine because of the doings of a great person on earth, and that when that person dies, the star that represents him or her goes out.
Nau mai - welcome
Haere mai - welcome, come here
Haere, Haere - come on, come here

Copyright Sue Baker Wilson
Photography and Artwork Copyright Sue Baker Wilson