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Mike Tolhurst May 2014
Inside me there’s a story  
of countries left behind beneath silent sails
running before trade winds and storms
enduring unthinkable hardships
and suffering deaths before they had reached their destination
or left their mothers breast

Inside of me there’s a story
of reaching a strange land
encountering a people steeped in war and hostilities
experiencing winter’s bitter bite in manuka huts
and putting up with it all in the
faint hope that the land would bring a better life

Inside of me there’s a story
of hiking across mountain ranges
rafting down icy rivers
tramping through bush and mud thick with mosquitos
to seek out safe harbours in which to build
towns and clear the way for others

Inside of me there’s a story
which dwells in the history of us all
to enrich our very existence and our being
telling of the strength of our ancestors
who came to this land of Aotearoa  
and made her name great
Mike Tolhurst May 2014

The IMS ambulance stands by the shore
as the table top wind sends its Antarctic breath to us
across the Indian Ocean while
we are wrapped up like parcels protected from the
temperature of the night,
an army lost in the dark
awaiting the gathering day
holding hope in our aging hearts
that the sun will come again .

We are lucky enough to have hope
unlike those somewhere out there
forever entombed and cold
Mike Tolhurst May 2014
Shadows in the Wind

The sandpaper water surrenders to the fence-line wind
stopping us in our tracks and sending us
a reminder of nature’s power
to hold back the rain
and to bring it on again
just like the instant that I saw your face
almost forgotten to the point
that I was fooled into believing that
my love for you was gone
but just like the rain
it wasn’t
Mike Tolhurst Apr 2014
Rain washes down my window
and clouds the view beyond
but I know that far off
the hard walks are trying their best
to make good
on bad ground.

Before the wet the sight was clear
and unobstructed but
now the trees are hazy,
lost in fear and worry
at making progress
in the winter wet.

Even when the rain has stopped
the doubt remains
that good ideas have been born
and that in the soapy sun
they can be acted upon to
change my life forever.  

By Mike Tolhurst
Mike Tolhurst Apr 2014
Mali by Mike Tolhurst

At four in the morning
here in New Zealand
I think of your face
blackened and foreboding
beset with tribulation
from time deals in  woes
that never seem to disappear.  

Forces religiously disguised
under a sky tinged with green
and red
shed on the yellow earth
sinking back  into the land
which has always been there.

A son
boxing on foreign soil
in a war
far from where you belong
in the portals of our hearts
which know you are there
while we lie
helpless and unknowing
This is a poem to all those of us parents who have kids fighting in foreign wars
Mike Tolhurst Apr 2014
Death by Mike Tolhurst

There’s a breeze blowing cold through the Kaiwaka
And bringing rain to the sodden ground;
The wind of spring still carries its winter bite
Blowing through the eaves with a whistling sound.

Theres a touch of order in the garden now
The lawns are mowed up to gardens edge
The paths are swept clean of leaves
And the electric cutter has trimmed the hedge.

The house was painted again last summer
An offwhite colour to match the walls
The inside was tidied up
Ceilings lowered over polyurethaned floors.

The legal office is established there now
Clients coming to call at home
She says the place is no longer hers
And that she doesn’t have it as her own.

Truth is that life never stays the same
No matter how much you might want it to
And here at number 7 Bank Street
Things have changed for me and you.

The existence that we once had before
When children ruled the way we were
Is all at sea inside a vacuum  
And has disappeared never to return.

The passions gone to another place
That we have lost the directions for
And somehow in the dead of the night
We misplaced the key to each others door.  

So lets take the beauty of this place
The Tuis and the expansive views
And start afresh without remorse
Replacing the old with the fresh and new.    

Theres a saying that goes something like this
Enjoy what you can endure what you must
When alls said and done we get but one life
Then its ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Mike Tolhurst Apr 2014
Haumoana by Mike Tolhurst

Black billed gulls wheeled across the ocean
tortilla flat beneath the August sky where underneath
the gravelled beach stretched on forever
and sunk out of sight below the disappearing sun.

Trapped pools of water lay captured above the waterline
reminding us of our dilemma
while the sea-breeze blew messages  
from your home in Switzerland which held our future in its grip.

We sat hand in hand and watched
the children play in the retreating warmth hiding  
the secret of our destiny from each other
but knowing all the same that it was there and real.

At least right then our love was unperturbed
as the stones skipped lightly across the cooling sea
allowing us the luxury of forgetting for an hour or two
that a Judge’s ruling might come and change our lives forever.

That day at Haumoana we discovered the depth of pain
but still the sea spirits spoke clearly to our hearts and
for a time at least all was lost  
as you and I and the children were together and free.

— The End —