Highlights of the Karamea Poetry Contest 2011


For archival purposes, we are reformating our story on the Karamea Poetry Contest 2011.

The 2011 Karamea Poetry Competition was an opportunity for our residents to dust off existing prose and/or to write prose anew and to submit their works for the public’s enjoyment!

This year’s contest submissions were uploaded to the Karamea Community website for public review and voting.

The public voted for their favourite poem, and poets were also invited to read their poetry aloud on Poetry Night on 4 December 2011, at the Last Resort.

Here are a selection of poems from contributing authors:


Requiem for a Short-tail Bat

Peter Sampson

I tried,
Eloquent emails to the Generals;
Fork Tongue, Mute, and Nukem.
Appeal denied.

Heat haze daze,
All day, death droned,
On killing fields for foe and friend.
Punishment proscribed

New day dawns,
Food chain fixed,
Poison apple arthropod awaits
Survival belied

Betrayed, death defied,
The lone lek calls
To phoenix mustelid and rat.
I sighed

Explanations: “arthropod” insect, “lek” mating call of the short-tail bat, “mustelid” stoat or weasel



Chris Youngson

She was only a waitress at The Albion Hotel
when Sledgehammer Jack came down for a spell
from his rough mountain shack and his coarse, rugged life -
he as blunt as a board, she as sharp as a knife.

" I don't drink with losers, you're all girls or poofs"
Jack elbowed his way to a table, aloof -
"Bring me beer you old tart, you're all useless at drinking"
she brought bottles, two glasses, and then started sinking
nip after nip of whiskey - the best,
Jack struggled to keep even - she didn't rest.

Before the end of the night he was pale and green
and the patrons all cheered for their waitress, Maxine,
she laughed, pursed her lips, smiled at Jack from her chair
"I was born Maxwell George, remember that, dear ! "


“Old Dog Wisdom”

Paul Murray

I don't like rainy days,
...I get all down and blue,
..more melancholy
than border collie.

Master has a new dog,
Cheeky little bastard!
All young, skinny and cute
I used to be like that,
Now I'm old, slow and fat
.. a greyhound
rather than a collie

Master and his bitch,
had a baby called "Diva"
They want me to like it
but...I'm a collie
...not a retriever.

I love chasing hares but,
the long-eared bastards are quick,
...and can corner on a pin,
Not like us collies,
we're shopping trollies.

So, don't moan about the weather
my young replacement "Rusty."
I may have forgotten more than you'll every learn,
But remember this young fool,
rain's only water,
...and it washes off.



David Rae

What is the sound of birdsong
On an early spring morn
Compared to the voice
Of one you adore?

What is the sun
On a clear summer's noon
Compared to the radiance in the eyes
Of one you cherish?

What are the myriad hues of the leaves
On a brisk autumn day
Compared to the complexion of the face
Of one you revere?

What is the fire in the hearth
On a tempestuous winter's night
Compared to the warmth of the smile
Of the one you love?

For you
My beloved daughter
Are beyond compare.




Travelled on many times,
by foot, head and heart.
Plans considered,
feelings revealed,
thoughts followed,
answers sought.
After rainfall, dusk settles,
the path now lined with gold.
Friends to return to,
the traveller smiles,
content with her lot.


My Best Bear


I have a little bear
and all day she eats a pear
on a chair
and eats with a bowl
and always gets a goal
and she climbs up a pole
and her friend is a mole
she goes to bed
in the morning she is fed


officially now hospital property


like clones on an assembly line
they dress you in gowns that are not of your own
incorrectly sized and gaping at the back
they ride up to expose withered flesh
if you weren't in so much pain and confusion
the indignity would make you blush

life lined faces lie atop crisp white sheets
voices hushed having nothing left to say
as you await patiently that corridor of light

the common factor that unites you all
like prisoners in arrowed suits
is the repetitive multi coloured writing
which announces loudly that you are now
no longer a person in your own right
that you have now become hospital property


The Bad Boy


(to the tune of 'You Are My Sunshine')

You are a menace, a sexy menace,
Your skin-tight blue jeans, they mold so well,
You'll never know dear, how cool I found you,
Your sexy splendour rang every bell.

The other day dear, I found your wallet
With a picture of you in drag,
I had to laugh dear, at my bold menace
With a yellow wig and a bag.

You were my toyboy, my hotrod plaything,
But now it seems dear, you're not the one,
I feel confused dear, as so must you do,
So I think I'll just turn and run.

This Competition was a Production of and Sponsored by the
Karamea Community Arts Council