Rangi Faith country : New Zealand bio: Born in Timaru, South Canterbury, and brought up in Temuka where I played a lot a of rugby and tennis, and also enjoyed athletics! Early on I won a High School poetry contest and that really started my writing. I had good English teachers and also enjoyed reading the work of James K. Baxter. I also liked the work of Ted Hughes and Billy Collins. I enjoy the art of Shane Cotton, Colin McCahon, Bill Hammond and others. Presently I am on leave as a teacher, doing plenty of flyfishing for trout,and writing a third book. The following poems show a range of themes and the first one is an 'oldie but a goodie!'
Advice To A Colonial Artist
The moahunter should be sketched with a fine ink and brush - That way he should slip into the landscape from the margin - he should wash over us & not ungently so, for he too will leave the mark of the hunter in his wake.
The man from England has his legacy sealed in wax; his beginnings are gilt-edged, he sweeps boldly across the canvas his ambitions fired in red:
here, the blue slash of the plough, there, the crimson slice of the harpoon, & here the black smear of the factory & the gun.
Leave the whites until last so that the bones of the people show through.
And who shall sign for this masterpiece?
Waving Goodbye (To Sir Peter Blake)
These belong to a yachtsman - leathered hands that punch & sew, run along the skin of a new hull, let a rope run easy,
raise a glass & tap a glass, raise a sail & an anchor & merry hell;
for clapping ones back & together, shelter eyes from the burning sun & watch a whale swim;
grip a tiller & later, a wheel;
unroll a map spread it out & hold it there - pointing here, there & here
holding a compass true;
holding a winner's cup waving to a crowd thank you & waving goodbye
holding an open palm to a changing wind.
Conversation With A Moahunter (a.k.a. The Last Moa)
Just one trout - that's all I asked. The Opihi wasn't prepared to oblige, so it was upriver again -
following an old trail in the mist, past the hanging cliffs where my father & I culled out the river shags years ago.
Up the valley to a lake bed so dry old trees, old foundations were coming up like springs through the stuffing.
& after an afternoon downstream, I gave up on the river & lunched below the limestone drawings.
Hoons in a Holden were racing up & down Raincliff Road.
I dozed. The thunder of tires gave way to the thunder of feet, & beside me a moahunter fresh from the hunt, panting.
How did it go? I asked. Just one, he said. Just one.
Hurunui River Submission
Travelling up Lake Sumner Road playing Bocelli & thinking: how to save this valley from a dam,
how to show a place worth saving ;
at the Seaward Stream, still dreaming, I watch the people coming down the pass going east with the greenstone, sheathed & layered in lacebark & leggings they boulder-hop, talking, smoke swinging from their kete, their rain capes spraying water;
& I remember those Maori soldiers who tramped Italian valleys singing Italian songs in a language they loved - the people & the way of the words being close to their own;
kitted out in khaki and balaclavas they marched the hard roads metal against metal & having reached a forward position, hidden, read the land & the weather & the way through, set up camp & wait for the night's fall - the taniwha moving below.
New Zealand Poets Flyfishing Calendar
For January : the Mansfield Maribou - olive-chenilled and peacock-plumed; For February: the Tuwhare Twilight Beauty - Tangaroa's saltwater fish nosing a fresh river mouth; For March & April, the Turner Tiger & the Potiki Parachute - bright wildfeathers on the water; & in May - bending the rod & seriously searching the stream - the Curnow Hare and Copper, that is, the sheen of the copper the bright light & the weight; the Bethell March Brown on the Ashley riverbank in June dreaming of gardens; & for July, the Hunt Hair Caddis the last time I saw Sam stalking the stage, resplendent; Hemi's Hamill in August, or the Baxter Hawk and Rabbit in frantic river crossings on the Matukituki; In September, Bornholdt's Bucktail Streamer caught in the rapids & flying down Happy Valley Road; Cilla's Dappled Dog doing the dogpaddle in October; Glover's Nor'west Glo-Bug - the one that lit the interior of a Leithfield bach one wild November night; & in December: Manhire's Arctic Chief for those river-wise fish going in opposite directions.