Piet Nieuwland

In exponential times

               Ko te toto o te angata, hei kai/ Physical wellbeing of people comes from food
               Ko te oranga o te tangata, he whenua / Spiritual wellbeing of people comes from the land

In exponential times
Horizontal minutes + triangular echoes

Night sky bleached by stars
Plasma lava + maguey

Skirts of wind lifted
Pearls shimmering frizzante + hot

Nine billion moons of elliptic red
Fields of tzioac + saliva

Waipoua forest canopy a mosque
Tawa totara taraire kauri
Kowhai kohekohe kahikatea cathedrals
Bridal beds + imaginary numbers

Suleika sphinxing around
Piwakawaka pair songs + magnitude nines

Errors in digital notation
Dobro dolsi + continental liquefaction

Catchments swollen with ballooning silt
Busy Zigada + kotare of Strelitzia skies

Azure shorelines of dream
Seed mantras + rivers of guitar

Eyes adzing open the fields
Zen conifers + candelabra

The cedilla, baptism of the bells, Aurora borealis

The earth’s boundless joys
Piano muzica mornings + kumara aplenty

Oh yes it can be dark here
And manuka in bloom
May breed despair
(Colin McCahon 1958 Northland Panels)

We enter the

We enter the same river as shadows / dissolving black mosaics
Put calculations aside / and examine our selves
Amongst jumbled ice floes/ in the polar night
With waves re-naming the beaches
In communions / on a hundred thousand altars of oak and stone
At deserts of windmills / and turbines of light
With Panthalassa crying / eternities of hot tears
At our theatrical spectacle / of frantic dance
Chants of masks banners and flags
Of feathers, leaves and painted faces
Building the momentum / of unheard-of terms
In galloping downpours of hyper-typhoons

Kia tupato

In the miracle of years that pass through the sand, the rough angled cliffs and skeletal trees, in the dive of kites and para-foil rolls, kapowairua cruise in the April of summer when horizons stretch to a thin blue sheet, when the sea at Pataua is pure clear fresh and hillside harakeke shimmers with the glow of warm offshore breezes; we bask in the simple physicality of the skin, taste of salt, and the equinoctial afternoon is a frame sequence of children, their fathers and mer-maiden in all manner of poses and reclining not inhabited by algorithmic confusion nor vectorised bits of stock imagery as presence proxies but as humans silhouetted on the edge of a phylogenetically diverse functionally complex and trophically multileveled marine ecosystem where kaimoana gluttony is not tikanga in this sensitive cultural place, kia tupato

Piet Nieuwland is a poet and visual artist who poems and flash fiction have been published in numerous print and online journals including in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States of America, India, Germany and Antarctica. He is managing editor of Fast Fibres Poetry and performs poetry frequently.

He writes; "(In exponential times) was included in an exhibition titled ‘Manners of Speaking — Te Pūkoro o Tāne’ at the Geoff Wilson Gallery, NorthTec, Whangarei from 21 February 2020. The exhibition, curated by Sonja van Kerkhoff, included works in a variety of media from 30 artists living in Taikoterau/Northland, Auckland, Netherlands, Italy and USA. The gallery was closed a week after the exhibition opening due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

"Exhibitors were asked to include a Whakatauki (Maori proverb) in the piece, hence the introductory lines."
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