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Penny Howard
New Zealand

Four Steps To Standing on a Horse - Penny Howard - 2014
Penny Howard  is of Maori (Te Mahurehure) Irish and Scottish desecnt.

Penny is a full time artist who is represented by Whitespace Contemporary art.  Her latest solo Show Four Steps to standing on a Horse was a collaboration between herself and her partner, poet Doug Poole. The poetry here was written by her specifically for that show.

Penny's artworks are held in various NZ collections including  The Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland City Council, Auckland Events Centre, Auckland University and ASB Community Trust. Penny has been a finalist in the the Wallace Trust Art Award, the Adam Portraiture Award and the Walker and Hall Art Award.

Penny's poetry has been published in Sidestream, Mana Magazine and in previous issues of Blackmailpress.

Ahika – Burning Fires of Occupation

for Sybella

You are Te Kārearea  rising from the Hangi Pit of your tūpuna
Flying on sparks, set into your unearthed cellular memories
Much brighter than any Katy Perry Firework
Your recorded history knows the dance of both Turehu and Daoine Sidhe
And no, sorry, it is not “all about that bass”, you are better than that
You Haka over embers and soar on Kahu slipstream
You nourish the memory of your namesake

Remember when you told me “I can taste the history Mum”

Sustain the flames that you dance on
Ahika - Keep our home fires burning
This is how you honour your past and look to the future
Don't succumb to neon halos of Hollywood fly-by-nighters
Your beautiful wings may be invisible to the naked eye
But every time you follow your heart I hear them beating

Dorothy's Korowai

She sews prayers into every fold and feather
Mother Katipo, blood diamond protector
Stitching a song of love and sorrow
Night stinging DNA  memory middens

Immunity bubble of Karamu water
Pulled tight over pouwehuna, our boundary markers
This doesn't mean that pain can't be felt
When it hurts too much, just throw it out the window darling

White horse, white horse, bring me good luck
Like the one that gave Te Kooti whakanoa
Men crawl their war-torn bodies under her sacred legs
Begging for the appeasement of  Tū

The purple/black dog, Te Kuri O Te Wao
Protecting her fertile ground
The white horse, releasing her tapu men

Dorothy, you told my father we come from a princess
tohunga and seer
Like the riroriro, I have never seen you
But I wear your wisdom and hear your song