Poems for May 2018: 7 Poems on Sculptures in New Zealand and Australia; 1 Poem by Kimberley Mann

Updated on September 13, 2018
annart profile image

Ann loves to write poetry and stories. Current poetry on Nature, Travel & beyond, including varied poetic structures.

Poetry Passion

I didn’t manage to publish 30 poems (only 20!) within the month of April for Poetry Month but I did have several more drafts. I have a passion for poetry at the moment, having pushed my boundaries a little.

I decided not to discard or rush those drafts but publish them regardless, for the month of May, my favourite month not least because it contains my birthday.

The poem at the end is not mine; it is by Kimberley Mann, it is part of Wirrarninthi Park and I think it's beautiful.


In our travels to Australasia, from December 2017 to February 2018, we visited family and friends. In New Zealand we celebrated Christmas and the New Year with family. The husband of that household is a sculptor, usually in limestone, specifically the New Zealand Oamaru stone.

He is a talented artist, though it’s purely a pastime for him; it’s therapeutic and he spends much time in the detail and the finish. I admire his ability in this field and would like to share a couple of his sculptures with you.

So many emotions are evoked by the penguin and baby, exposed on the rocks and twigs, pure and vulnerable.

The Tortoise lives on the wide path by the front door. He is dark and polished, making his shell all the more realistic. The inspiration for him came from the opening sequence of the television series 'One Foot in the Grave' (apparently this sculptor's wife reckons he gets more like Victor Meldrew every day!).

The figure is meant to be a Galapagos tortoise, which evolved differently on each of the islands to adapt to the habitat and vegetation.

Penguin Hatching

Oh, look at this!
Oh, look at this! | Source

Penguin & Baby

Penguin poised in graceful protection,

head bent down, concern newly found,

sheltering, nurturing hatching offspring,

vulnerable on the exposed ground.

Between her feet the chick emerges,

looking up, reaching for food,

mother’s eyes look down in wonder,

‘This is life and this is good.’


Don't mess with me!
Don't mess with me! | Source

Armoured Guardian

Welcome to my master’s house! You see I have my own,

sturdy, solid, scaled to fit, it makes a comfy home.

However, I am watching you, making sure you’re kind.

Don’t forget I bite at will, so just make sure you mind

your manners and your Ps and Qs, I always pay attention.

I never go to sleep so even night time’s in contention.

You might just think that I can move - and tortoises can shift -

so think before you do anything that might be at all amiss.

Welcome to my master’s house! I hope you feel at home.

If you are good and kind and right, then you are free to roam.

'Wild' Sculptors

Sculptors are allowed to use the grassy strip between road and sea near the centre of New Brighton, on the outskirts of Christchurch.

My favourite was a wonderfully balanced, ethereal piece featuring a woman with flowing rock hair. Sadly, there was no indication of the sculptor's name.

Pure White in Grey

Flowing Rock
Flowing Rock | Source

Grey and White Tresses

A youthful lady stands in the grass.

She catches your eye as you wander past.

Her hair flows down and around to the ground,

in limey white outline, flecked grey.

Charcoal in parts, the tresses dance round

her body, and green peeps through background.

Blue sky echoing the long white cloud*

makes her a shadow to ponder.

Her uplifted face begs the sun to warm

her hair, to awaken it, shake its form,

but the grey remains fixed as it turns,

snowy white skin never tanned.

Beauty exquisite, she will always remain

fixed to this spot, fetters strained,

seeming to see in the distant clouds

a future for which she yearns.

* The Māori name for New Zealand, Aotearoa, translates generally as ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ - a sight often seen over the horizon.

Brisbane's Elephant and Rat

Near the modern pedestrian bridge across Brisbane River is The Gallery of Modern Art. Between the gallery and the river is a small park, in which rises a bronze sculpture called ‘The World Turns’ (20011-12) by Michael Parekowhai. It was commissioned to mark the fifth anniversary of the opening of The Gallery Of Modern Art in 2006 and 20 years of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.

The information accompanying this sculpture says:

‘Michael Parekowhai is known for the use of wry humour and his deft combination of popular culture, art, literature and history.

In ‘The World Turns’, Parekowhai casts a small native water rat, the kuril, in the rôle of hero. Along with the traditional Aboriginal custodians, the kuril is one of the caretakers of the land upon which the Gallery and this sculpture stand. Traditional Elder Uncle Des Sandy tells how the the kuril is intrinsically linked to the mangroves that weave around the Kurilpa Point shoreline, which feed it and provide it with shelter, and that these trees, with their strong tentacle-like roots, are the source of nourishment for a diverse ecology. Here, the kuril is planted firmly on the ground, going about its business, even though it has shifted the world - represented by a large, upturned elephant - from its axis. The chair is an invitation to sit and contemplate this remarkable feat.

‘The World Turns’ reminds us that history is often recorded to highlight specific moments, but, as the world turns, there are many other stories - and these are central to our understanding of history.’

'The World Turns'

Michael Parekowhai's Elephant & Rat, known as 'The World Turns'
Michael Parekowhai's Elephant & Rat, known as 'The World Turns' | Source
The Kuril, a water rat, oblivious of what's happening around him
The Kuril, a water rat, oblivious of what's happening around him | Source

Upside Down

Why is this elephant upside down?

Does it not give him a headache?

Is it the world that is turning around

or the water rat, firm in its wake?

Elephant’s feet are still on the ground,

so is the rock turning as well?

How is it that the world turns round

but rat’s not bothered? Can he tell?

Two stories unfolding side by side,

which cause us to question our eyes,

but think how it is when history unfolds,

which story is true or who lies?


A rat called the Kuril is caretaker

of this Art Gallery and its surrounds.

He’s firmly connected to mangrove roots

and, single-handed, has shifted the world.

He hardly realises, does not turn a hair

as the world shifts about him, awry;

he has not a care, his daily routine’s

not disturbed, doesn’t notice close by

a massive elephant, shifting through space,

a side-story and pattern, a face

of some other existence, no longer connected,

important, though, in its own place.

Adelaide's Pigs and Sculptures in the Park

There are bronze sculptures of four pigs in the Rundle Shopping Mall, central Adelaide. They are known as The Rundle Mall Pigs and are by sculptor Marguerite Derricourt. Some say they are supposed to represent shoppers sniffing out bargains. Their names are:

Oliver (standing at the bin), Horatio (sitting), Truffles (sniffing the ground) and Augusta.

In Adelaide’s south-west parklands, near to the railway station of the Indian Pacific train, is Wirrarninthi Park, a reserve and a nature/sculpture trail. It is designed to be educational, an essential part of it being the re-planting of trees.

Wirrarninthi/Park 23’s traditional owner is the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. adelaidecityexplorer.com.au describes it as follows:

‘In 1997 the Adelaide City Council signed a reconciliation statement that recognised prior occupation of the city site by the Kaurna and committed the council to recognising their heritage. The council resolved to give its parklands and squares Kaurna names in consultation with appropriate authorities and community organisations.

In 2013 Park 23’s name of Wirranendi was renamed Wirrarninthi, (‘to become wirra’) which means to ‘become transformed into a green, forested area’. The name describes the process of ‘reclamation’ of the park being undertaken by the council. Activities include the construction of a Kaurna food and medicine trail and revegetation with native plants and protected indigenous flora.’

Rundle Mall Pigs

Marguerite Derricourt's 'Rundle Mall Pigs' in Adelaide shopping centre; Oliver, Horatio, Truffles & Augusta
Marguerite Derricourt's 'Rundle Mall Pigs' in Adelaide shopping centre; Oliver, Horatio, Truffles & Augusta | Source

Pigs in Clover

Oliver stands atop the bin

rifling through the goodies therein.

Horatio sits in thoughtful pose

wondering where each shopper goes.

Truffles sniffs the ground, to eat?

Does he think he’ll find such treats?

Augusta, though, just stands and stares;

‘Why do people shop? Who cares?’

You can’t fail to give them a glance,

photograph them, watch them dance.

Do they think we’re mad for shopping?

I think they like it here - they’re stopping.

Cat and Possum in the Park

Cat Sculpture along the Interpretative Trail in Wirrarninthi Park
Cat Sculpture along the Interpretative Trail in Wirrarninthi Park | Source
Possum - confident in its surroundings
Possum - confident in its surroundings | Source

Wirrarninthi Park

You wander through this peaceful glade,

on the edge of the city it was made

to reconcile two different peoples

who vied for Adelaide.

They aimed to reinstate the trees

established once down many years,

to grow the native plants, protect fauna,

to teach us to respect.

We find the cat, hunting, still feral,

lizard in one paw, bird a mouthful.

The possum makes himself at home,

he lives in people’s lofts.

The peace and beauty all around

is there to tell us, to remind

all who enjoy it that it’s precious,

as is the whole wide world.

Poem about the Wirranendi Trail by Kimberley Mann

Walk the Wirranendi Trail

look up into silhouettes of branches

where magpies sing tidings

cross the dray plain

Travel between rocks

witness the abyss

follow your self in

close your eyes

still your mind for a while

moon floats high in a white sky

swallow memory and learn

The wind chases spirits through here

Note: this poem has a sculptured form which you can see at


© 2018 Ann Carr


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    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      22 months ago from SW England

      Thank you very much, Mark. I'm glad you enjoyed this.


    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      22 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Cool idea. Loved them all

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you very much, Nithya, for your kind comments. Those two are my favourites too!


    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      2 years ago from Dubai

      Loved your poems enjoyed reading them. The sculptures are magnificent. I love the Penguin Hatching and the Flowing Rock. Thank you for sharing this wonderful hub.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you manatita. Yes, the sculptures were amazing, especially the penguin and the 'rock lady'.

      The layout of Kimberley Mann's poem was staggered, which added to the impact of the poem but, sadly, I couldn't replicate that in the text - it wouldn't let me!

      Hope you're having a good week.


    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      All excellent poems and the sculptures seem amazingly alive! Kimberly Mann's contribution at the end is most certainly exquisite.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Well, thank you Shyron, for your GREAT comment. I'm pleased you enjoyed them so much!

      Thanks for popping in today; great to see you!

      Have a wonderful week, Shyron.


    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Ann, your poems are great, I love them all and the sculptures are great and Kimberley's poem is great, the combination makes for one great, GREAT hub.

      Blessings my friend

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Peggy. Yes, that rock sculpture intrigued me; there were so many ways to translate it. I agree with you that the contrasts, though simple, are beautiful.

      Your visit and valued input are much appreciated.


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      It was fun getting to view all of these sculptures accompanied by your poetry. I liked the whimsy of the pigs in the market but I found that Flowing Rock most interesting. The sculptural form of it with the contrasting colors of white and grey is beautiful.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Hi Mike. Thank you very much for your kind comments! I think when people have sculpted something it's from their soul and therefore creates emotions.

      Yes, these would have been for April and I'm definitely not counting!

      I appreciate your support.


    • mckbirdbks profile image


      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Ann - Your poetry pen is on fire. How you find inspiration in stone is a marvel. These are excellent contributions to April poetry month, [yes, I know, but who is counting]

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thanks, Jo. I always appreciate your visits and your kind comments. Glad you liked this.


    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      2 years ago from Tennessee

      Great sculptures. Great poems. Loved this article, Ann.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Dora! Yes the talent that goes into these sculptures and many others, is amazing. They are inspired by nature and both inspire me! I enjoyed writing around these works of art and I'm glad you liked them too. Thank you for your kind words.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you very much, Audrey! I'm glad you enjoyed it.


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      These poems and the sculptures can provide hours of reading and rereading. We are pulled toward the wonders of nature at the same time we are inspired by the workmanship of talented humans. Simply awesome!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Magnificent sculptures! Your description of each sculpture is poetically beautiful. I love this!

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you very much, Nithya. The penguin is my favourite too.


    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      2 years ago from Dubai

      Enjoyed reading the poems and viewing the sculptures. Your poems describe the sculptures beautifully. I love the Penguin with a baby hatching, it is so beautiful and heartwarming. The Flowing Rock is different and unique. Love the tortoise too.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Brian. I'm pleased to have done that and I appreciate your visit.


    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      2 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Ann, I enjoyed these poems. Each seemed to me to express the essence of the sculpture it is about.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Mary. Yes I think I'm with you on that one! It's nice to just get on with one's own life.

      Good to see you.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      What a lovely comment, Elijah. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the journey.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you bill. What a lovely thing to say.

      My Saturday has been great as I had a late birthday celebration with my girls and will have another with the boys tomorrow! How good is that!

      Enjoy a wondrous weekend, bill!


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Nikki. I really appreciate your support and encouragement.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Hi manatita! Thank you.

      I have a few more to go but it depends if my muse continues as poetry is not my comfort zone.

      Your support is much appreciated.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Flourish: thank you so much for your kind words. I'm suddenly finding poetry writing fun so am continuing whilst the going is good!


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, John, for such a kind comment. I'm so pleased you like my poetry.

      I hope you get to see some of those sculptures.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      I'm glad I transported you Eric! I also like the accompaniments on your journey.

      Thanks for the visit and your unique comments, as always.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Frank. I enjoyed writing all of them but I think my favourite is the penguin because I just love the sculpture!

      This hub was fun to do and reminded me of our diverse journey.


    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What beautiful sculptures and the poems are the fitting tribute to them. I sometimes wish I am like the water rat, not allowing what's happening in the world to affect me.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      2 years ago from Washington DC

      Thanks for taking me with you as you toured Australia and New Zealand, almost like being there with you with you telling a "blind" me what's happening. I enjoyed them all and just by your works was able to see what was happening around me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love all the sculptures....love the appreciation for them....love your poems about them....love that people are encouraged to decorate the landscape with them.....what a wonderful tribute to the Arts!!! Thanks for sharing, Ann! My little world just got bigger thanks to you.

      Wishing you a splendid and satisfying Saturday!


    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      2 years ago from London

      Beautiful sculptures and poems are well written and beautifully combined to give a glow.

      I love Penguin hatches and World upsides down, loved the woman sculpture as well.

      But all poems are amazing, you’re doing an excellent effort in poetry genre Ann, keep it up my dear.

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Beautiful poetry as usual but I was attracted by the beautiful sculptures and knowing a little about them. Some are exquisitely charming, like the Penguin and babe as well as the tortoise. A pretty talented artist.

      I guess you are close to finish now. Awesome!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      I think my favorite may be the penguin poem. Your soapstone carver friend really does a beautiful job. You have quite a talent for poetry. I hope you’ll continue.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a wonderful article, Ann. You are really doing poetry proud at the moment. Even though I am in Australia, I haven't seen any of those wonderful sculptures yet. Those soapstone sculptures by your NZ relative are wonderful. I like Penguin and Baby and the World Upside down poems in particular, but all are great.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow, my favorites. Great poetry and cruising around another land and checking out art. (although I may still like Churches and ancient graveyards more. ;-) It would be really cool to print this up and visit and read the poetry and snack on sausage, biscuits and a hearty Red while watching clouds go by.

      Well I guess you know where this got me - back to earth Eric.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      If I could pick a favorite it has to be Penguin hatching and Pigs in Clover, however I enjoyed all seven poems et al.. but still I have my favorites..LOL :)


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