Thursday, 27 October 2016

Spring is Underway

Coming, Ready or Not

Hunched deep into her coat
and with her red gumboots on
she plods up the hill to home
- there’s a movement in the air,
not the wind exactly, more
of a feeling.

She looks at the sky, she looks
at the trees, they feel it too.

The sky adds white sparkles
around the edge of the gloom.
The trees add a lime splash
on dark green ensembles.
Is there less mud on the path?
Is there a warmth in the wind?

Spring?   Surely not
when she has unopened books
beside her fireside chair! Yet here,
under her hedge, there’re bright
sun-coloured Lachenalias
ready and dressed, joyfully
swinging their multiple bells.

Copywrite. lois.e.hunter

Saturday, 22 October 2016


At present I live on Kawau Island,

a small island of 5,000 acres just off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Resident population is about 60 of us scattered along the coastline. There are no roads to speak of and therefore we have to walk or travel by boat to visit with each other. We have no shops but we do have an all-year restaurant attached to The Beach House Hotel. In the summer season we do have the facilities of a boating club and also a cafĂ© in the grounds of an historic house for the many hundreds of visiting tourists and boating people.

I am also a member of the Kawau Island Bookworms group and for the past five years have been involved with, and along with the other members have contributed to, four book publications, with the fourth one due for release in late November 2016. Each book has a theme and is centred around our experiences of living semi-isolated on an Island.

AN ISLAND SUMMER. Our first book was a progressive mystery novel – where one person wrote a chapter and then passed it along to another person to add their chapter. The only condition to being a contributor was keeping quiet about what had been written previously. That was a lot of fun, the ending a total surprise and the book sold so amazingly well, we decided to write another.

ISLAND VOICES. For the next book we were to contribute a story, poem or photograph with an Island theme. Quite a few wrote of their often unusual experiences of how they actually ending up living on this island. A lot of them arrived here to this unusual way of living “just by chance.”

ISLAND FLAVOURS. This is our third book and centred around providing food whether for family or entertaining, when all our food, other than fish or something grown in our own garden, has to be pre-ordered and brought in by boat.  There is a great variety of recipes supplied along with the stories and photographs. Again it sold extremely well, with two reprints having to be done - and to date there are only 8 spare copies available at $NZ$20 plus postage. Email enquiries to Lin Pardey at



There are natural-born hoarders.

Their scavenging eyes can see
the possibilities in the worn-out,
the cast-off, the inherent wealth
that takes some time to retrieve.

An abandoned dinghy or bath,
the drifts of pine-cones or needles
a twist of wire left on the road,
old timber from a demolition,
bark peeling off a fallen tree,
fruit left to rot on the ground.

She admits to being one of these,
there’s a charm in the abandoned
and overlooked – last week she
carried home a prize of seaweed;
yesterday made a bright red jelly
from an overladen guava tree.

Today she’s out on the wharf
with a line in her hand;
she casts again and again
until she lands a Parore – ignored
as a “shit-fish,” but she knows
to immediately fillet it whole
and not damage the gut.

It’ll be as sweet as gurnard.

Place skinned fillets in a Pyrex dish.
Salt, a light touch of minced garlic,
rings of tomato, then pile on buttered
breadcrumbs and quickly bake
until the juices bubble and run.

Onto a warm plate, a squeeze of lemon
and tonight she'll dine like a queen.

copyright lois. e hunter

Saturday, 15 October 2016


Tom's Future?

Tom’s thinking about the family coming later today,
what needs to be done before then, how much his
grandson will have grown, as he confidently moves
forward to change the oil in the car, fully expecting
his automatic mind to kick in and follow through.

But there’s only a blank!

He can’t remember how to do it – confused
caught off balance, a time of panic, before
the memory’s returned and he can proceed.

Tom doesn’t realise how easy it’s become
to transfer repetitive, physical actions over to
the mechanical mind – no need to stop and think
where to reach for the salt, the bedside clock, the
breakfast bowls, the oven cloth; no need to think
of the correct sequence of tying a Windsor knot,
 he’s done it all so often before.

As he takes a shower, he’ll think of the shopping list. 
As he cleans his teeth, he’ll think of his credit card.
As he washes the car, he’ll think about his, then the
neighbour’s garden - which will make him think
of how he likes spring, which leads onto his thinking 
about the summer coming, which leads onto…

on and on it goes, the wandering unfocused thinking 
which travels easily over well-worn paths…
with a start of surprise he finds he’s mowed the lawn!

Unused, the active creative mind, tuned to play
waits to be charged, fired up by something/anything; 
be scared, be brave, adapt to the unknown - now
reduced, it has gone into a holding pattern, bored,
loop-taping memories when life was new and raw

for Tom’s mechanical mind is gaining, more and more
power and ever-efficient it drops into a growing
archive any automatic activities Tom’s not used
for a while. When a “blank” happens, it will take 
longer and longer before he’ll remember again.

He’ll worry. Believe it’s the first signs of Alzheimer’s 
affecting his brain. As his confidence weakens, his 
activity will slow. He’ll rationalise it’s easier to shop
at the local village than drive further afield – like a
self-locking washer the mechanical mind clicks,
clicks again, into a tighter and tighter circle

locking his mind until Tom, like his father before him, 
will feel more secure staying at home. He’ll buy what 
he needs via the phone. Fall asleep in front of t. v.

Copyright: lois.e.hunter

Friday, 14 October 2016


Daughter Anita's drawing
 Mangawahai Heads.

published 1988

After some years of small farming at Kaukapakapa, the children and I shifted to live at this coastal village and we lived there for a year. I was no stranger to this place as I had started coming here for holidays as a child and after the land was subdivided by my Uncle Ralph, we shifted into our new bach.

Look what the daughter's found in the sand
The original family bach

                                                 One of the poems from this book

                                                  Clothes lines spinning empty.
                                                  Windows tight and faceless.
                                                  Grass inching nice and easy
                                                                                              over paths
                                                  up shut gates
                                                  climbing trees.
                                                  Quiet, quiet, coast
                                                  ghost town.

                                                 A pulse starts
                                                                      the sun brightens,
                                                 the word 'holiday' hovers.
                                                 On Friday, they start drifting in
                                                 the first outriders
                                                                            to evening caravan
                                                 of cars, cars, boats, trailers
                                                 people, people, people.
                                                                                     By Saturday
                                                 every house bursting
                                                 every motor mower churning,
                                                 motor bikes, motor boats
                                                 children, dogs, radios overflowing.
                                                 The pulse, now a full throat beat,
                                                 vibrates, pours forth, jambs two weeks
                                                                                                              then stops.
                                                 The grass inching nice and easy.

                                                                                                                       Copyright: lois.e.hunter


I was trying to put these in the header below my name,but obviously there is a trick to it that I haven't found after a couple of days of attempts. I shall do more comprehensive post in the next couple of days after I have re-done the cover photographs,  but in the meanwhile:

I:   MANGAWHAI HEADS  NEW ZEALAND - Not available now.
2:  STOP  STEP OFF -  available
3:  THE LITTLE RED DRAGON - Not available now
4:  DAISY HILL  Home is where the hat is. -  Available New Zealand National Libraries.
5:  WORDS OVER THE WATER  -  Available New Zealand National Libraries.
6:  WORDS AND WORDS AND KAWAU ISLAND  -  Available New Zealand National Libraries
7:  WHEN WE WERE OLD  -  Available New Zealand National Libraries