The Poetry Kit MAGAZINE



Response Poems 







Belas Knap

by Stuart Nunn
They moved the waymarks, so the map
no longer helps. Our only reference point’s
the power line that angles off just here.
So we walked blind from arrow to arrow,
climbing through anonymous woods to fields
of winter wheat, greening under weak sun.
At every field’s end we search the map,
but all of us move through a landscape
more than half imaginary, fugitive,
until, across another field, against a wood,
there’s no mistaking Belas Knap’s green mound –
map and landscape click into congruence.
Four thousand years it’s served some purpose –
burial place, focus for ceremonies
we can only guess at, vague heritage.
But for us this afternoon, it tells us
where we are, brings meaning to the lines

of hedge and wall, allows us to go on.





Hunting in Dansey’s Pass

by Waiata Dawn Davies




We drove across the river bridge

sea mist obscuring everything except

one yellow road way sign,


We turned inland along the river

almost by instinct. Grey dripping trees

and ghostly gateways passed our creeping car.


We climbed above the mist to azure sky

clear sun light warming paddocks of lush grass

grazing cows and a skylark singing somewhere.


We left the car, walked through the gate

cows ignored us. Our boots left footprints

in the  dewy grass below the limestone cliff.


Eons ago this cliff had been sea bed

but now it thrust above the valley

pitted and carved by nesting birds


And at its foot we found the caves

where hunting parties had made camp

using charcoal from their fires


to leave a record on the walls

of moa, kereru, kiore caught

and stored for winter food

five hundred years ago.