Autumn 2020



Our autumn Poems in the Waiting Room cards were distributed just days before the world became unwell. I imagine they have all been destroyed as waiting rooms, hospitals, hospices and rest homes stepped up their cleaning processes.

I was going to offer to post out cards in response to requests but they’re not considered an essential service so I believe NZ Post wouldn’t deliver them. What I can do, is reprint the poems here, so you can still enjoy an autumn poetry picnic.


 Here’s to everything undone today:

laundry left damp in the machine,

the relatives unrung, the kitchen

drawer not sorted; here’s to jeans

unpatched and buttons missing,

the dirty dishes, the novel

not yet started. To Christmas

cards unsent in March, to emails

marked unread. To friends unmet

and deadlines unaddressed;

to every item not crossed off the list;

to everything still left, ignored, put off:

it is enough.

Zoe Higgins




I am waiting, Cicadas,

for you to come cutting

and stitching the warm air

like eager street tailors

treadling old Singers

along the hot pavements

of throbbing Calcutta


I am waiting, Cicadas,

till the high twisty willow

resounds with your stitchsong,

till its leaves weave and flicker

with cellophane wings


So hurry, Cicadas!

Emerge from the dry earth

Long years you have waited

to set up your bandstand

to signal the season

of indolent summer

while air holds its breath

Judy Day


Instead Of


Instead of an apple or turkey on rye,

I’d rather eat crickets or swallow a fly.

A fly is nutritious. It makes me feel great.

I love eating flies when I’m out on a date.

I don’t like spaghetti. I don’t care for fish.

Just serve me a handful of flies on a dish.

I’ll eat them in weather that’s muggy or foggy—

it’s great to be me – I’m a fly loving froggy!

Darren Sardelli  

One of our Pocket Poetry cards – little give away poems to pocket. These will continue to be available once the world is well.


Click your heels

high heeled shoes are problematic

there’s no reason they should make you happy

but sometimes, wearing them at home,

for no particular reason

raises the likelihood that something glamorous

or magical

may be just about to happen

Emilie Collyer




the dying rumble and


of wave after wave

sometimes you hear


the silence of the sea.


A huge hush

that flickers on and off

as if we were faultily

wired to eternity.

John Torrance



 Maybe night is about to come
calling, but right now
the sun is still high in the sky.
It’s half-past October, the woods
are on fire, blue skies stretch
all the way to heaven. Of course,
we know that winter is coming, its thin
winding sheets and its hard narrow bed.
But right now, the season’s fermented
to fullness, so slip into something
light, like your skeleton; while these old
bones are still working, my darling,
let’s dance.

Barbara Crooker


 Love’s Camel

Whatever way love’s camel takes

let it take me too

stowed up on the saddle, swaying.

Let that be home.


The past nor future is our own

only this trapeze moment.

Catch it now as it swings.

Who cares where we are headed


it is enough to be with

this light filled present;

feel the sway, the night air on your face

stars bright in your hair.

Rose Cook



conversion –

the sun falls

between goalposts

André Surridge


Day Trippers

 I can hear them now

The day trippers who thronged

To the shore with picnic baskets

And enough food for an expedition.


They came in search

Of peace and quiet with radios,

Cars and other city trimmings.


They sat and soaked up the sun,

Easing away the cares of the week behind

Making plans for the week ahead,

Knowing nothing would change

But still they planned.


And when the mist began to fall

They packed their cars

And headed home

Each with their own piece of countryside.


Today their laughter still echoes

Through the mist, calling

Future generations to sit by the shore.

Sue Gerrard 



What’s the point of eyebrows?

They lie there, lazy piles of fluff

that, frankly, do not do enough

to warrant taking up that space

on (almost) every human face.


Your eyeballs see, the forehead frowns,

earlobes happily hang around,

nostrils smell and molars chew,

but what, I ask, do eyebrows do?

Laura Mucha


The Tewing

A tutu fine and delicately hued

as Himalayan salt,

gleam of satin slippers,

your large, rough hand, security-

Just the two of us.

The first ballet lesson-

Madame Borriot looms over me,

presses my cross-legged knees to polished floor,

Tu le fais comme ça!

Brutal squish,

then its balancing crowns,

pirouetting on toes-

I’m a willowy princess, at last

a real ballerina, luminous with grace.


I run to you when it’s over, too thrilled to

do anything but grin.

You draw me in, guffaw, and ask,

How was that my galumphing little elephant?


(To tew: obolete word meaning ‘to work (leather) by beating or kneading’, or ‘to prepare for some purpose’)

Sophia Wilson

© Copyright title & compilation Autumn 2020

Copyright of recent poems retained by authors


 PitWR (NZ) supplies 8400 free poetry cards to  medical waiting rooms, hospices, prisons, and rest homes throughout NZ every season.  Braille booklets of this card are available from the Blind Foundation.

Heartfelt thanks to our Sponsor



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1 Response to Autumn 2020

  1. jazzytower says:

    These are wonderful! What a great project. These must serve as a nice distraction in the areas they are distributed. Good works.


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