Rangi Faith
country : New Zealand
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,
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.