Category Archives: Poetry

Dawn Service Address: Dannevirke 25th April 2021


Dawn evokes
in the soldier
powerful memories,
powerful images,
powerful feelings.

Imagine if you will
the soldiers
whose names are engraved
upon this memorial,
and hundreds of thousands of others
from Gallipoli and the Western Front,
through WW2, Korea, Malaya, Borneo Vietnam, East Timor
and on to Iraq and Afghanistan,
in their blankets asleep
as dawn approaches,
only the night sentries

An hour or so before dawn
the soldiers are roused,
the word is passed quietly along the line,
Stand to,
Stand to,
Stand to.

Bleary eyed still,
the soldier rolls out of his blankets,
laces his boots,
puts on his equipment
and takes up his weapon.

For this is the time of day
when the combat soldier “stands to”
on high alert
in shell-scrape, pit, trench or bunker,
weapon at the ready,
eyes straining, focused to the front,
as night turns slowly into day,
peering through the gloom,
ready to fight,
to repel a dawn attack.

Dawn and dusk are dangerous times for soldiers in the front line, for they are the most likely times for attacks to be launched against them.

From Gallipoli to Afghanistan soldiers have “stood to” on high alert from an hour or so before, to an hour or so after both dawn and dusk.

Among us today
are returned soldiers
who have spent
hundreds of dawns
in that state of readiness,
high alert, hyper-vigilance
forever engraved
deep in the recess of memory.

a special time.

The dawn too was when that same soldier might sometimes be called upon to summon his courage, to rise out of the protection of his trench or bunker, to go over the top with his mates and to attack into and through the artillery and mortar fire, machine guns, rifles, wire and mines of the enemy, advancing steadily, into what for many, would be certain death.

It is said that the Dawn Service itself came about to commemorate the dawn landings of the first ANZAC troops to assault across the beaches at Gallipoli.

Thank you for coming out this morning
to stand to in remembrance
of those who have marched off
to their last parades.
To honour those
who have served
and are among us still.
And to honour servicemen and women
who stand to still
in the service of their country.

Na te po, ki te whaiao, ki te ao marama.
As night turns to dawn
and dawn into day
and as danger passes,
clearing patrols go out
to check the enemy
is not hiding out there.
The vigilance and tension subside.
The day sentries
and early warning patrols

And the word is passed along the line,
Stand down,
Stand down.
Stand down.

© 2021, Ross Nepia Himona

#scatpoem by #3twitterati #onsundaymorning

Brown Buy

Russell Brown @publicaddress
Original Ralta styles.
$5 at #avondalemarkets.
Just had to.

David Joesph Dobbyn @davidjdobbyn
Now all you need
is a matching Crockpot & fondue set

Russell Brown @publicaddress
Do not tempt me.

David Joesph Dobbyn @davidjdobbyn
Reckon you’d find ’em in Paeroa
in one of those choice antique stores

Te Putatara @Putatara
@publicaddress @davidkjdobbyn
You should enter it in the flag contest.
Cord and all.

Russell Brown @publicaddress
An old mate has washed up in Paeroa
and is running one of those stores.
It sounds amazing: Temuka by the ton.

Russell Brown @publicaddress
@Putatara @davidjdobbyn
That, sir, is an insightful suggestion.

#lol #rofl #wtf #end

Copyright @publicaddress @davidjdobbyn @Putatara

I dream a dream

“I dream lofty dreams,
and as I dream, so I become.
My vision is the promise
of what I one day am;
my Ideal is the prophecy
of what I at last unveil.”

– James Allen

I dream a life given to Io-Matua
Whose works great and small I perform,
seeking to stand hour by hour
in His presence.

Moment by moment I seek
to make this world a better place,
guided by the God-Force,
within and without.

Striving to discover my unique gifts;
and to use the greatest,
that which gives me happiness
and untold pleasure,
for the purposes most needed
in all the world.

To become the best me
I can be;
to help others become.
To give, to serve,
to promote peace,
healing and prosperity.
To unconditionally love
all creatures
and all things.

To passionately mine
the Wisdoms of the ages.
A lifetime of learning and contemplation,
knowing and becoming;
and so to write and teach others
to know and become.

And I dream a journey into serenity,
a journey of the fulfilled spirit
to Hawaiki and beyond;
to Io-Matua-Kore.

“I dream lofty dreams
and as I dream, so I become.”


Copyright: Ross Nepias Himona

Wayfinders 4

to think
outside the square
against the tide
of opinion
received wisdom
common sense
knowledge mindset
haramai te toki

Dive beneath
the shallow currents
seek the deepest truths
dredge to the surface
hidden secrets
assumptions agendas
expose them
to the bright light
of day
ki te whaiao
ki te ao Marama

the lonely path
of the outsider

in mindspace
tihei mauri-ora

© Ross Nepia Himona

Wayfinders 1

are the Wayfinders of old
steersmen for the waka
through these stormy seas
beset by colonial tides
and constant racist currents
a cultural tsunami
driving at all sides
never ending
year after year after
through the longest ever journey
of peril danger uncertainty
threatening with every dawn
and every nightfall
through all the days
and long dark nights
century after century after
assimilation integration obliteration

are the star charts
guiding currents
gentle winds at the cheek
whispering direction
soothing encouragement
across te ara moana
broad clear sea path
to certain landfall

are Paikea and Kuaka

are the inheritors of
Kupe, Toi, Hoaki, Ruatea,
Ruawharo, Tupai, Te Rongo Putahi

are the Wayfinders

© Ross Nepia Himona


The Old Man arrived today,
rushing in from over the Strait,
across Tapu-te-Ranga, and
sweeping all before him,
sand-blasting cars and lawns,
making new dunes behind
fences far from shore, and
in my hair and down my neck;
Winter’s here.

Saw your clouds gathering,
and quickened my step Old Man,
remembering you do this every year,
hiding out there behind the horizon,
your version of humour no doubt,
to spring your blustery ambush,
on summer clad runners (and walkers),
telling us who’s boss around here;
Now you’re back.

And I sprint for home but not before
you plummet the temperature,
and try to freeze my balls off, then
with sand in my hair and icy crutch
you send it down in buckets,
knowing you’ve only got five minutes
to finish the job before I reach refuge,
and laugh at you behind thick windows;
And chattering roof.

Welcome back Old Man, you’re late.
That drenched young girl down the road said,
“Isn’t Winter terrible”, but I said, “Not for me.
He comes every year, and at my age,
he’s an old friend, and even though,
he’ll try to overstay his welcome, for a time
there’s comfort in his presence, and
anyway, your friend Spring is not far away”.
She thinks I’m mad.

© Ross Nepia Himona

reflections on running


On a warm sunny day, I run
through sun filled valley,
bathed in the healing glow of Ranginui,
ancestral Sky Father.

In a southerly storm I run the hills:
gale rain lashed, Thunder growled,
Lightning flash-warned;
at play with Tawhirimatea, ancestral cousin,
God of the Winds.

I run the sea shore
serene in calm stillness,
powerful in mighty display;
in all the moods of Tangaroa,
Cousin God of the Oceans.

I run with all the children
of Tane, procreator of humankind
God of the mighty forests,
ancestral shelter, provider.

My feet caress the soft gentle skin
of Papatuanuku, Earth Mother;
and I am enfolded by Her,
in love.

I run in an Inner World,
led there by Tane-te-wananga;
he who ascended the upper realms
to Tikitiki-o-rangi the Uppermost,
gained there for all mankind
three baskets of knowledge
from Io-Matua,
Parent of all that there is
in this and in every realm.

I run with Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga,
Trickster Shaman.
We play, adventure, seek challenge;
pit ourselves against ourselves,
and all who would play with us.
With Maui I laugh at the World.

I run the hills and valleys and shores
where once the Earthly ancestors ran,
bathed in the spiritual fire
that once bathed them;
and still does.

I run from Te Korekore, Potential,
Womb of all Creation
whence Universe birthed itself,
through Te Po, long darkness of Unfolding,
to Te Whai-ao, first glimmer of dawn,
into Te Ao Marama, bright light of day;
Universe revealed.

I discover the Universe
of Io-Matua-Kore the Parentless
And I discover myself.

© Ross Nepia Himona


A Dream for Mataariki: Maori New Year

Last night I dreamt about you,
you said, from the dark,
and in an instant
smouldering embers
that once blazed fiercely,
flickered again into life
from beneath the ashes
of parted time,
at Mataariki.

Pleiades rises over dawn’s horizon,
heralds new seasons for an old world,
new life and new beginnings; a time
of dreaming and remembrance,
lamentation and celebration,
festivity and feasting: So does
my heart rise above the eternal sadness
of life, and sings again with joy,
at Mataariki.

© Ross Nepia Himona