National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day:

National Poetry Day was established in 1997. A one-day national poetry event extravaganza, it is held on the fourth Friday of August each year.

From seasoned poets, to total newbies, to the simply-a-bit-curious, participants in Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018 — on Friday, 24 August — have the opportunity to be touched by the magic and excitement of poetry, to get involved in the poetry community, and to discover New Zealand poets, share poems and explore and experience what poetry is all about.

Last year was our twentieth anniversary, and to celebrate we published our incredible 20/20 Collection showcasing the current range and diversity of New Zealand’s poetry and poets.

This year we’ve enjoyed the highest recorded number of events — around 150. These are all organised by poetry-loving volunteers and involve thousands of people in more than thirty towns and cities all over the country.

I suppose I should have a quick go.

This is the day

To have your say

with words, do play


Leave a comment


  1. Gezza

     /  24th August 2018

    My Poem

    Here’s my first one, in a rhyme
    I won’t devote it too much time
    Instead of long, I’ll make this short
    I’ll later do, a Simon sort

    By Gezza 🐧

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  24th August 2018

      The springclean’s done,
      The dust is risen,
      Where cobwebs was
      Today they isen.

  2. PDB

     /  24th August 2018

    “Let’s Do This” she said with Glee,
    But what does all this mean for thee?
    Emotion overruling fact,
    The economy taking a different tact,
    Not for better but for worse,
    The emptying of the govt purse,
    Oil and gas would be no more,
    Taxman knocking at the door,
    Free money for us all,
    The working class become the working poor.

    • PDB

       /  24th August 2018

      “different tack”

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  24th August 2018

        ‘Let’s DO this !’ was the Labour cry;
        ‘Do what ?’ the obvious reply;
        ‘Do such stupid, wasteful things
        They drain the nation’s coffers dry’.

        ‘Do the miners out of work,’
        This the Greens will never shirk.

        ‘Do the people who’re in need,
        Make them pay for those who breed.’

        One thing Labour will not do,
        I hope, is make term number two.

  3. Strong For Life

     /  24th August 2018

    This is not really a poem but a monologue from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, but it is beautifully written, poetic and full of truth. I am entering the sixth age so can relate to this. Can you?


    All the world’s a stage,

    And all the men and women merely players;

    They have their exits and their entrances,

    And one man in his time plays many parts,

    His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,

    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.

    Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

    And shining morning face, creeping like snail

    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

    Seeking the bubble reputation

    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

    In fair round belly with good capon lined,

    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

    Full of wise saws and modern instances;

    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

    Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,

    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

    For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,

    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

    That ends this strange eventful history,

    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  24th August 2018

      I did some quick research on this S4L because I was curious to learn about this ‘sixth age’ and whether I had joined you in it. To be honest I’m no wiser. The closest I could come up with is this gem…

      “A lean and slippered pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side”

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  24th August 2018

        Pantaloon; an Italiian commedia character.

        The speech (soliloquy, not monologue) reads better when it’s single-spaced, of course.

  4. Corky

     /  24th August 2018

    Roses are Red.
    Violets multiple diverse colours.
    This government is in the poo.

    By Corky
    Permission to reproduce denied.

    • Gezza

       /  24th August 2018

      Oh my God, so you were right
      It’s come to this, you lost the fight
      Those commies, now they’ve power seized
      Say you are not, allowed to breed


      • Corky

         /  24th August 2018

        Eh? A little too high brow for me, Anon😄

        • Gezza

           /  24th August 2018

          Permission to reproduce denied.
          Sorry Corks. Thought you’d had a letter from MSD saying no more kids.
          Just a misunderstanding. 😬

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  24th August 2018

            ‘Permission to reproduce denied’
            Says MSD, who know what’s what;
            I wish they’d thought of this before
            Some people’s parents them begot.

  5. duperez

     /  24th August 2018

    One year on National Poetry Day the end-to-end news, the world shattering event which gripped our media, was who would be picked to carry the flag at the Olympics.

    It’s national poetry day today

    It’s national poetry day today
    so it behoves me to find
    a few words to toss
    and stitch
    to make a literary work.
    “a piece where special intensity
    is given to the expression of feelings
    and ideas by using a distinctive style and rhythm.”

    I didn’t get chosen to carry the flag
    which while a relief in some ways,
    makes finding the lines
    and working the mind
    not easy,
    with the head far away.

  6. Patzcuaro

     /  24th August 2018

    To leak, or not to leak, that is the question:

    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous leaders,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
    And by opposing end them.

    To text, or not to text, that is the question:

    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous travel expenses,
    Or to take arms against a crown limo of troubles
    And by opposing end them.

    With apologies to the bard.

  7. PDB

     /  24th August 2018

    Unionism is good they say,
    That is why they dock my pay,
    Money for a rainy day,
    When bosses turn upon their prey.

    But really it is just a rort,
    Bad workers it does support,
    Good workers end up short,
    Propping up the left-wing fort.

    Lower wages are the norm,
    Even if you do perform,
    For even you must conform,
    With the remainder of the swarm.

    So avoid unionism if you can,
    Cutting out the middle man,
    Assign them to your bedpan,
    Improving your financial plan.

    Ask your boss for a pay rise,
    You may be in for a surprise,
    Your wage packet will reach new highs,
    Say goodbye to union lies.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  24th August 2018

      A man I know, who drives a bus,
      Caught on to an important truth,
      He didn’t need to pay the dues
      The union wrested without ruth

      Any pay rise wouldn’t go
      Only to the union brothers,
      He’d get them too without the cost
      The union skinned from all the others.

  8. Gezza

     /  24th August 2018

    There was some poetry on the daily thoughts on little sandwich board outside the florist/gift shop when I got my half-moons from the village bakery this morning.

    On one side:

    We will truly know
    Everything is beautiful
    When we finally realise that
    The cockroach has wings

    On the other:

    I don’t actually know
    How many problems I’ve got
    Because maths
    Is one of them

  9. Blazer

     /  24th August 2018


    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

  10. Gezza

     /  24th August 2018

    Moy name’s Soymin
    Oy min charge
    Oy now steer
    The Nashnil barge

    Oy ma mowree
    Paula too
    Yous are probly
    Too arn choo?

    Moy dikshin is not so hot
    Duzzint madder, with my lot
    Oy try to, be like John Key
    He’s moy hero, akshilly

    Anon’s brother

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  24th August 2018

      Anon has another brother called Trad; Trad wrote a lot of wellknown folk songs.

  11. duperez

     /  24th August 2018

    • duperez

       /  24th August 2018

      “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” = it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  24th August 2018

        Said by people who will never be called upon to do it. I wonder if Horace would have thought it was sweet and seemly to die for his country.

  12. Kitty Catkin

     /  24th August 2018

    WHAT’S OWED TO A MAGPIE (inspired by PB Shelley’s TO A SKYLARK)

    Hell’s toothy pied spirit,
    Bird with nether warts –
    With my little rifle
    I will have some sport,
    And blow your cackling head off with a deafening report.

    Louder still, and louder,
    From my gun’s two barrels
    Bullets blow to powder
    Bird and wings and carols*
    Laugh this one off, magpie, as you turn to chowder.

    What a glorious madness
    In my brain now flows
    As I think with gladness
    That the magpie shows
    Signs of newfound holeyness in his feathered clothes.

    *carol as in song, not Christmas carol

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  24th August 2018

      The PDT will creep and crawl,
      His spirit’s mean, his mind is small.
      He’s spiteful, nasty, dull and dim,
      How glad I am that I’m not him.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  24th August 2018

        The PDT/s must be watching to see when I post….too pathetic and slightly creepy.

      • PDB

         /  24th August 2018

        A bit of ‘male bashing’ there Kitty – how do you know the PDT is a ‘he’?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th August 2018

          Feline intuition….I suspect that they are, with one possible exception.

  13. robertguyton

     /  24th August 2018

    There was an Old Man with a beard,
    Who said, “It is just as I feared!—
    Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard.

    Edward Lear


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s