Wednesday, 29 March 2017


WHILE YOU WERE AWAY doing your city life the Island has recovered from the two big rain bombs we had in quick succession and this morning your empty holiday cottages are all shining in this early morning sun.

I thought I had the bay to myself, except there must be someone on one of the moored yachts for even though it is so early across the water comes the smell of frying bacon.

Note: For those who pre-ordered copies of my book MEANDERINGS. They arrived later on this morning and your copies are stacked here waiting for me to address them tonight and I'll be sending them onto you in the post tomorrow when I go over to the Mainland.

From the day I sent the manuscript off to the publishers, Xlibris,  to today, the whole exercise took just the 7 weeks and that was despite me not realising I should have chosen the poetry template option. I am not sure when it'll be available in the New Zealand libraries.
It is already available through Amazon, and also through as a hardback, paperback or E-book

Sunday, 26 March 2017


WHICH PATH TO TAKE - going the longer way to get there, or the short way?  

The Kawau Kat is the cruise boat that visits all the bays as it goes and the one the tourists select and the little water taxis are for those who wish to get to and from the Island directly.

It always depends on the circumstances and the nature of the person involved. Personally, I usually prefer taking the longer, more thoughtful way, and for those who notice such things, it is obvious from the time they open my gate and walk towards any home that I have had, that this is my nature. The path to the door is never direct, and at my Island home, I have a wide curved path where the stepping stones are also carefully placed so that one has to either take smaller steps, which automatically slows their pace, or take them at a run to land on every second step. Coming off this path, part way down is a smaller direct path to access the side lawn, the studio and also to my door. Most of the time people choose the difficult but shorter path, even though it is not much shorter, and they have to climb around plants, garden tubs, hanging rose tendrils etc. to do it. I have even put tubs across that path to stop people taking it, but after hesitating, they jump over them and arrive at my door irritable. 

Before starting an action, pause, breathe, move forward. After finishing an action, pause, breathe, move forward.

So what brought me around to thinking on this subject? A while back I shared with you photographs one of the special places that are only known by a few of us - the surprise of a large hidden pond nearby which is only accessed by a slow winding walk through a magical canopy of trees and ferns. But someone has decided it should be able to be instantly accessed and seen by all, and with their chainsaw has cut a direct path from the public road straight to the pond as seen now on the left. No, not the work of D.O.C this time. Hopefully the pond will be just as cared for as it was before. Personally, I am quite devastated seeing it stripped like this of its mystery.

Saturday, 18 March 2017


AND SUDDENLY IT IS AUTUMN after a very short summer. The change of season virus has been and gone and now it is time to prepare for the coming winter - and when I think of preparing for winter it means storing the cupboards with the blessings of summer - i.e. bottling fruit. Because it was such a wet spring there were no bees around to fertilise the apricot tree, that usually produces around 12 quarts of fruit as well as jam, I had to succumb to buying in peaches to bottle. Sound silly because it works out cheaper to buy tinned peaches instead, but I convince myself that doing them myself, they taste nicer. The pear trees don't rely on bees to fertilise them ( our wood pigeons do that as they go from flower to flower selecting buds to eat ) and in a race to beat the Rosella Parakeets I am picking the fruit and bottling them as soon as                                                                                           they ripen.

P.S. Reminder: for N.Z'ers. To those who have shown interest, I need to know by tonight, SUNDAY, by messenger -           if you would like a signed, discounted copy of MEANDERINGS at $NZ35.00 which includes postage, as I place my order with payment, tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

MEANDERINGS - a special note for NZ'ers

I HADN'T THOUGHT .... I would get so many pre-order enquiries for my latest poetry book, so I thought you may like to be included.

The publishers, Xlibris,  have offered me a discount on books that I sell personally which I can pass on to my New Zealand friends. I am in the process of adjusting my previous order to the printers and have to confirm the numbers by early Monday morning the 20th March.

The price to buy a paperback via the publishers is $NZ34.99 and then postage a further $A5.00.

I can pass on a discount and the price would then be a signed paperback copy at $NZ30 plus bubble bag pre-pay postage bag $NZ5.00, making a total of $NZ35.00  - a saving of $5.00.

If you would like to be included, just send me your name and email address via messenger and I'll get back to you with  eta delivery details.


Friday, 10 March 2017


LET'S TALK ABOUT BAMBOO - not the suckering kind which unfortunately some people associate with the word bamboo, but the other ones which are grown for building materials, soil erosion control, their  aural qualities from a gentle whispering/rustling to sounding like the roar of surf, or just for their sheer beauty in the garden.

Wherever I live I plant bamboo, of various varieties for all of those reasons. I could even be called a bamboo nut. But a very big reason is that I call the larger ones like the Bambussa Oldhamii,  the woman's building material. It's easy to cut, easy to use and when used as pegs or stakes will last in the ground for about 5 years - a very quick way to make a windbreak of driven in stakes to protect plants which is so necessary on the Island.

Pictures of Bamboo in my garden.

Pictures of bamboo being used as a building material - a whole ecco/ educational village in Bali is  built of only bamboo and well worth googling.

And finally - here is a link to a use of bamboo that I didn't know about, and will give you a smile (?) for a wet Saturday afternoon.  

Thursday, 9 March 2017


YOU NEED A PREVIEW was the suggestion. Thanks for that suggestion Diana:  so I went looking on Amazon to see what had had been put up by the publishers Xlibris - it seems it takes a couple of days for the actual preview to become live though. (By the way at Amazon,  Meanderings is listed in New Releases, under Poetry from British and Irish authors).

I guess it's o k to preempt here what I supplied to the publishers:

MEANDERINGS by lois e.hunter.

Life had come to a point of burnout culminating in an accident and badly injuring my back. Just by chance though a buyer approached wanting to buy my lifestyle farm and as a part payment came a cottage on Kawau Island, which is a small sub-tropical island, resident population fifty, in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand.

As a temporary step I shifted to the island to take time out to heal and follow my dream of being able to become a full-time poet. Since arriving here, in the next seventeen years I added, to my previous three published volumes of poetry, another four volumes with MEANDERINGS being my fifth.

The consistent theme of my poetry is being a witness to life and capturing those special fleeting moments that can too soon be forgotten. My previous book, `When We Were Old,' was centred on entering the world of retirement. Where we have become too old to be employed in our previous positions and finally we came to acknowledge, and accept, we've entered the final chapters of our life.

Now, after the world of retirement has been experienced, comes the question, what next? Already my closest friends have chosen new paths and scattered in different directions into new lives. MEANDERINGS theme is about exploring, mentally and physically, places and people in preparation to my returning to Mainland life again. There is no urgency, as yet, to make a decision but also knowing it is time to leave this island and find my forever home. I'm open and waiting to be shown, with a complete faith in my long history of unexpected serendipity, and especially how each deeply loved home has been incredibly surpassed by the new one.

Not Quite an Autumn Poem

It's late summer and under
a sky ablaze with blue
it's hot  - we loll around
in a fairy-tale trance.

I look at the ocean
but there's nothing to see
-no boats, no birds;
it stares back at me
-only the slight swell
to prove it's real and
not a painted fantasy.

Jiminy Cricket is here  - he's
trying to climb into my ear;
remind of chores to be
done before Autumn ends
-but keeps slipping away
on slicks of sun-tanning cream

morning slides into evening
into morning again

how could anyone believe
there'll be an Autumn? We live
in the moment where love
and summer go on forever.

The Man on the Park Bench

You cannot see by looking at me
all the country roads and cities
my eyes re-call and I now name
my own, because I've walked them
step after step, back and forth,
back and forth

listening to voices, collecting scenes,
noting in exact detail: the store
with a blue window-box of red
geraniums on the floor above,
which side of a street gets
the morning sun, the sudden
view after a turn in the road.
I know the sounds of each place.
I know the smell of it.
I know the taste of the food.
And I know how my familiar,
the wind, always walks with me
varying its moods to the place.

I may appear to be loitering
on the park bench half asleep
but my world is expanding
and contracting as my mind
recalls and roams with the wind.

Not Only in NYC

Twice a week a man hips-up
onto a barstool, expectant
of a welcoming smile and
being greeted by name

there's no need to order,
already the barman pours
his triple gin, straight up, no ice.

He's their poet-mascot, another
Ferlinghetti or maybe a Hemingway.

The man considers the restaurant
as his family  - who else to talk to
if he didn't come here.

He will push back his glass
for a re-fill  - only this once he'll say
with a deprecatory smile

as he accepts complimentary
nibbles; he's in no rush to leave

and weave his steps out onto
the street and climb the stairs
to his one-room home to eat.


If I came to live
in this West Coast town
that does not talk
in decades, but remembers
in generations  - I would
come as a barren tree, for
no more fruit can fall
from my limbs. I would
stand with no history
before me, no history
behind me  - I'd be
no more than a ghost
in the wind.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017


WELL HERE IT IS - All those months of selecting, correlating, refining and editing poems that may have been written over a period of years has been delivered from the publishers, way over in in Indiana, to the shed on the end of my wharf in the form of a small packet 1500 mm x 2300 mm - in other words, the proof copy of my book has arrived.


Lois E Hunter is a New Zealand poet, who after living in and around Auckland, now lives on the small island of Kawau Island, on the coastline of Auckland North.

She studied American Poetry at Auckland University and has been writing poetry for the past thirty years. Her poems have appeared in various magazines over these years and the National Library of New Zealand holds a selection of four of her seven previously published collections of poetry. She writes in an easily accessible style of free verse which often invites the reader into recollection and/or conversation.

Next step was to read through the proof copy and give the go-ahead to the printer - and yippee, today the book has gone LIVE.

Now I can order my copies of the book. I have a couple of pre-orders and because I get them at a discount and I may have one or two spare copies for New Zealanders after reviewers etc. but I'll let you know after I have sorted them out.

                                                                         *   *   *

I thought I would share with you how MEANDERINGS appears in the blurb on the site under their heading, Poetry - women.

By lois e hunter
Lois E Hunter is a New Zealand poet, whose ancestors arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, five generations ago from both Ireland and Cornwall. She grew up in Point Chevalier, Auckland, and has been writing and publishing her poetry for the past thirty years. Now retired, she has accepted her age. She can't go back, only forward, and the time is approaching where she's aware she needs to leave her home of seventeen years and select her "forever home." As she moves further and further out from her existing home, her poems follow the paths she takes both mentally and physically, contemplating which direction to take with, as yet, no urgency to decide. These are poems of people-watching and places, both from her past and the present. There are four parts. Part one is a preview to choosing her existing small island home. Part two is taking day trips away to familiar places. Part three is travelling further afield. Part four is a plateau that has been reached with her future still ahead. Lois says, "The special thing I love about poetry is the similarity between poems and cartoons. With a few deeply considered pen strokes, they give the reader a complete minimalist story, thought, or vision." 

#poetry #womenwriters #kawauisland #retirement #househunting 

Sunday, 5 March 2017



The mornings are a little cooler now and neither the dog or the cat are in such a hurry to leave their beds, that is until they hear my call , 'biscuits!'

It's a strange limbo time this waiting for the proof copy of my book to arrive. Instead of it going to my post box over on the Mainland, it is to be couried to the ferryboat office and a water-taxi will deliver it to the end of my wharf.

This is a whole new experience of using a commercial publisher. A quick learning curve of how to do everything in a virtual world by email and phone-calls from unknown faces. For today's computer literate world, it's all easy-peasy as my children used to say, and a couple of times I had to call on the youngest daughter to bring me through contract-speak.

So different from the first time back in the '80's "when I had a dream". When the Women's Press took pity on my budget and obvious enthusiasm and helped me through the process, every stage was a physical hands on, visiting offices, meeting people experience. I supplied them with a large box filled with a carefully stacked pile of poems I had first printed with a daisy-wheel typewriter and had got photocopied into 50 books worth of pages, along with a cover design made with the help of Letraset, my choice of cover card and paper quality, which they then put together and turned into books. Then I was off to a commercial colour printer ( there were only two in Auckland City then ) for 50 copies of  the selection of photographs I had pasted onto a large card.

And finally, I am off to the local Bookstore/Stationers with forty copies of my first poetry book, illustrated with pasted-in photocopied photographs. The Gods of Dreamers were smiling on me and they were all sold within the week.

Thursday, 2 March 2017


THEY SAY EVERYONE HAS A BOOK IN THEM - and only waits to be written.. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to have finally written it. Your book is finished and you're waiting for your book to arrive back from the publisher and be there in your hand?

I can tell you it's both the best and the scariest time, all mixed up together.

The desk, that has for months been overloaded and spilling with notes and drafts, looks back at you pristine and empty. Everything on it has been condensed into a book-sized square.

So, here I am, waiting for my latest book, Meanderings, to arrive on the wharf. It's my eighth book of poetry and I am just as excited and restless as I was with the first book I published back in 1988.

The difference is, this book Meanderings, instead of being limited to New Zealand readers, is being published in USA and going international and will be available through Amazon etc. I'll keep you up to date with its progress.

In the meanwhile, we have the first hints of Autumn here. It's been a short, very dry summer and I'm back in the garden which has been a bit neglected of late, but despite that, this form of Salvia pictured above keeps blooming and its haze of all over purple always enchants me.