Paua* Rescue

Kaikoura’s coastal sea bounty
thrived with large juicy paua*,
crayfish, on the shallow seabed
replenishing themselves to the
joy of local restaurants and diners.
Whales in the nearby chasm
mingled with smaller fish from
shallower seas round about.

Until this under water terrain was
heaved high in the air by the earth’s
crust’s powerful jolts breaking
up land and seabed alike.

As tremors weakened two days
later local divers stared in
shock at the rocky shore now
high in the air, swathed in kelp.

“Never thought I’ld need a ladder
to collect paua,” muttered one to
his mates. “We have to act now
or we’ll have no more.”

Back home mates phoned mates,
gathered buckets and ladders
then returned to rescue the paua.
They filled their buckets, climbed
over rocks to the water’s edge,
tipped their earthquake victims
into the sea, repeating the trek
many times each very hot day.

No illegal catch above quota
was taken for fisheries
inspectors watched closely

*paua – New Zealand abalone.

Paua* Rescue

Sunday Lunch

Ron and Betty took Brian
and June for a pleasant Sunday
outing, two middle aged couples
enjoying sun and coastal breezes.

At shallow rocky outcrops keen
diver Ron slipped over the side
to gather paua* for lunch and
dinner for four – nothing to exceed
their quota should fisheries
inspectors arrive to check the catch.

No inspectors appeared but the
three on the boat stared as long
dark shapes converged on Ron
down under the sparkling waters.

Ron standing up faced three
orcas nose to nose as they
snooped into his bag, his gear.

“Close enough to hongi !” he
gasped as they hauled him up
with his catch for their lunch.

The traditional New Zealand
Maori hongi signifies peace and
goodwill as the participants
touch noses to breathe the same air.

Did those orca pranksters mean
goodwill or mischievous teasing ?

Ron ended his diving for the day.

*paua – New Zealand abalone

** Very loosely based on an incident reported
on our national news in March 2017.

Sunday Lunch

Dolphin Encounter

Surf lifesaver Dad took
fifteen year old daughter with
her two friends on a beach to
beach swim to increase life
saving ocean swimming stamina.

Swimming close to the shore
lest stamina fade the fifteen
year olds splashed among rocks
grazing knees as they passed.

Crossing deeper water past a
wide bay, dolphins encircled them
containing the humans while
banging the water with huge tails.

At last Dad escaped the circle,
saw a shark shadow  below
as did another young life saver
swimming out from the beach.

Looking down at the shark, the
men then looked at each other,
swam back inside the circle.

After 45 minutes the dolphins
ceased their uproar having saved
fellow mammals from a vicious
shark attack … from skinned knees

… five weary swimmers slowly
swam up to the beach.

* Based on a incident off the east coast of
New Zealand’s North Island twelve years ago.

Dolphin Encounter

Notice To Cyclones

Lately you have exceeded
your job description surging
so far south of the equator.
Your duties are to stir up
torrid humid air down as
far as the Tropic of Capricorn
at latitude 23 degrees south
while unfortunate island
dwellers   must tolerate you.

Beyond latitude 34 south
our shaky isles, always
unsettled, have lately been
heaved up to great heights
then dropped down low,
shattering towns, roads,
countryside and coasts.

Now twice within four
weeks your violence has
battered and flooded us !

Go back to your home
stay on your equator !

Notice To Cyclones


Leaving the hospital after
regular blood tests I
follow an unfamiliar route
home past a cluster of
shops where a cafe exhales
a rich deep robust aroma
of sumptuous dark coffee.

My previous enjoyment of a
substantial cappuccino in bright
cheerful cafe surroundings has
not favoured me in return,
bringing nausea, dizziness,
headaches later on unless
accompanies by a large meal
to soak up the caffeine.

All this is long forgotten
as I succumb to the rich
cafe air, consume that
cappuccino with a sandwich.

I have a quiet day, no
dizziness or nausea. That
night I go to bed, read,
turn out the light, lie awake,
breathe deeply, slowly, count
sheep, read, turn out the light
again, lie until dawn arrives.

I have not slept all night.


Supermarket Displays

My blood tests said diabetes
so at diabetes classes
I learn to be diabetic in
a healthy kind of way.

The dietitian talked us
through her power point
presentation then took us
to the supermarket to see
food labels and content
around the aisles and shelves.

Inside the entry door we
immediately encountered the
mighty bargain display of
chocolate eggs and rabbits
surrounding us in towers.

“Get used to it,” said the
dietitian, “there’s a month
to go, of grand displays of
chocolate, of tasty hot cross
buns.”   These are diabetic
enemies, full of sugar, fats
and starch – of which we
diabetics can consume so little.

Thus it has continued each time
I shop for food. Prominent
displays of popular foods, of
fizzy drinks, pineapple centred
mallow puffs, instant coffee
sachets with milk and sugar
added…….. on and on it goes.

I rarely bought much of these
but still the choice was mine.

Now, I am excluded.

Supermarket Displays


Renegades swirl, surge
in a never ending stream inside
me as fewer and fewer power cells
flow from the little power house
tucked in among the workshops
pump and bellows inside my torso.
These renegades invade the fuel
pumped through computer control
through all the busy factories of
my body, around my limbs and
outer extremities, congealing
its fuel lines, fine wiring, clogging
filters of my waste disposal system.

Everything in my body
struggles to hold them
at bay, to continue with
pre programmed functions
to hold back the monster
renegade flow……diabetes.


Genetic Bonus

In its best officialese
the guidelines booklet
says Asians, Indians,
and Pacific Islanders
are more susceptible
to the renegade diabetes.

Yet European white people
delete their genetic bonus
by filling themselves with
French fries, battered fish,
steak, sausages, salami, pies,
bacon mashed potatoes, cheese
fried eggs, milk shakes, sweets,
cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks
white pasta, white rice, alcohol

and other forms of salt, sugar,
fats and refined starches in
all their sumptuous glory

to the great advantage of
the renegade diabetes.poetry  d

Genetic Bonus

Game Of Genes

New age science in the
‘sixties and ‘seventies produced
research and discoveries to
kill bad microbes, treat
inherited illnesses so that
we can live into sprightly
old age for many years.

All very exciting to the
new generation born in
soaring birth rates after
WW II repeopling a
depleted world population.

Now the offspring born in
that mating flurry are in their
sixties and seventies well armed
for years to live  the latest
research into healthy lifestyles.

Family genes waiting in the wings
have the last laugh as they appear
delivering congestive heart
struggles at 67, anorexia and
depression at 65, diabetes at 70
throughout the family tree.

The old age lottery has
spat out its marbles,
done its worst.

Game Of Genes

Sunday Afternoon Outing

On a sunny Sunday afternoon
the family in their black coats
and white shirts power along
the cliff edges, past the headland
on to the harbour enjoying its
blue green waters, circling past
the harbour beaches staring at
the people on the sand, in the water
and in their cars passing the beaches.

As the family enjoy swimming
and diving in the sheltered harbour,
more people come on to the sand,
more cars crawl along the roads.
As the family still in black coats
and white shirts pause to stare
in between diving and splashing.
“There are even more of them
now,” they remark to each other.

How wonderful to see the orcas *
visiting our harbour say the
people on the harbour beaches.

*Orcas – also colloquially known as “killer whales. “

Sunday Afternoon Outing