I have enjoyed Mannies Poetry for a long time now, he has been published in every NZ Poets feature BMP has run to date. I felt it was time to showcase Mannies wonderful way with rhyme, which is rare in contemporary poetry .
Mannie has written eight Novels to date and has several short stories and poems published he is currently is writng a screen play.
More of Mannies poems are in back issues 1, 2, & 4 of Blackmail press. - Doug Poole Editor
Kio Kio - Patricia Howitt
In an Asian River
Adrift on the still grey mists of morning,
on the river, cold, serene.
No form, nor shape, unsoftened,
in this dream. This frightening dream.
No sound, save an eerie murmur.
No perspective, just a paling grey.
It seemed the world was made of nothing.
It seemed to be so far away.
No sounds of life, no children laughing
No flop of fishes on the run.
No wild fowl flapping across the water.
It seemed the world and I were one.
This softest dream. So cool, refreshing,
this ghostly journey, I'd begun
to find the killers in the marshes,
to kill them all, and not save one.
And then the monster bore down on us,
with giant legs astride the path.
The waters even started trembling.
Warning of an aftermath.
The flash of rifles from the jungle,
and volleys from the bridge above.
Two men fell, one right beside me,
he'd become a snow white dove.
They'd send his tags back to his family.
They'd say he done his duty well.
They'd glorify this war he'd fought in.
Oh how the living's chest would swell.
Someone died. Plucked like a petal.
Others too would meet that fate,
and someone, somewhere casts more medals,
not worn, but stacked at heavens gate.
And they would send more young men forward,
all to fight anothers war.
And they would die, and thousands follow
and when they died, ten thousand more.
And as they lay them in their caskets,
all their gold braid shining bright,
the Generals back home, stir from sleeping,
dreaming up another fight.
They'd dress the dead with pomp and glory.
A smarter sight is seldom seen
and they'd use cotton waste, and hessian,
to fill out where their legs had been.
Oh don't you cry, wives and mothers
Think of the glory, these brave lads bring.
Give freely of your sons, your lovers.
The Generals hardly felt a thing.
Send them all your sons, your brothers,
send them all your fathers too.
Dig 'em out, from kids to lovers.
They will take them all. There's still too few.
The more we lose, the greater the glory.
It matters not for whom they die.
Another page, in life's great story,
It all started with a boody lie.
Oh special lady, of yesteryear,
How I miss your smile.
To sit at your feet and hear your tales,
And dreaming all the while.
Your soft pale skin, your wrinkled brow.
That sparkle in your eyes.
The warmth of your breath, the strength in your hands,
Ever beutiful and wise.
And when they laid you to your rest,
My heart was torn in two.
Left alone these many years,
With just my memories of you.
The greatest gifts of God it seems,
Are shown us sparingly.
But his gift of you, to me my love,
Was the finest there could be.
You were my link with days gone by,
My shelter from the rain.
You nurtured me, and taught me well,
And kept me from all pain.
You're with your maker now my love,
And that's as it should be.
For when my time in turn does come,
I'll stand closer still to thee.
Gate to yesterday
Where once an open road, a padlocked gate,
I get the feeling I'm too late.
The mill has closed, the people gone.
Just dusty plain and the winds harsh song.
The 'Thowk' of ball on raquet strings,
the cheers and claps a good shot brings.
The curses from the footy field.
The netball girls who won the shield.
Soft cries of babies in their prams,
the taste of home baked food, of jam.
To feel the warmth a cuddle brings,
of love, of joy, and other things.
All sound of living forever gone.
Their voices hushed, they've moved along.
Signs of their passing, all too few.
There's me, this gate, this lifeless view.
A mountain once, a child climbed,
much smaller now, been shrunk by time.
The old red houses in a row
all gone now, there's nought to show.
No children's laughter from the school,
Now rocks and weeds surround its pool.
No loco whistle from the bush,
No benchmen, yardmen, no slabs to push.
A river once, mere trickle now,
its waters have turned brown and sour.
The mountains huge, deep blue, supreme.
Majestic! No. They break my dream
No glang of gong. No call to tea.
There's nothing left, but memories,
this gate, the mournful wind,