After rain

After rain

waiting for the bus
two stops away.

Keep waiting or go to it?
picked the second.
Almost there,
it set off and passed me.

sit in next bus,
another fifteen minutes to wait
came out the sun,
with the rainbow.

This is Dunedin
This is life.


Poetry Competition 2014

Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ)

Announcing the

Poems in the Waiting Room(NZ)

2014 Poetry Competition.

2014 colour jpegIf you’d like to click on the Poetry Competition tab above, then select Poetry Competition 2014  you’ll be able to read through all the entry conditions and then ……….  start writing!

If you’ve entered our competition before, please note that we’re asking for two copies of each poem this year. I’ll keep one, to consider for placement in future editions of PitWR, and send the other to our judge, Helen Lehndorf.

You’re welcome to email me with any queries, waitingroompoems(at) but please post all entries.   Thanks Ruth

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Something about Janet Frame


(image from list.


(from the back cover of her book The Goose Bath)

Nene Janet Paterson Clutha (28 August 1924 – 29 January 2004). Janet Frame is her Pen name, she is New Zealand’s most distinguished writer.

Among her numerous honours, Frame is a Member of the Order of New Zealand, a Nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature and an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She was among ten of New Zealand’s greatest living artists named as Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artists in 2003. (from NZ book council)

She was born in Dunedin. Early in 1931, her family settled in Ōamaru, Janet’s father’s home town, which Janet later called her ‘kingdom by the sea’. In March 1943 Frame studied English and French at the University of Otago in Dunedin, and attended Dunedin Teachers’ Training College.

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As shown in the second picture, this is a book of her poems was collected and edited by Pamela Gordon, Denis Harold and Bill Manhire. They thought these poems can illustrate shape of Janet Frame’s life. She kept writing until very end. I post the part of the last poem in this book below.

The end

At the end

I have to move my sight up or down.

The path stops here.

Up is heaven, down is ocean

or, more simply, sky and sea rivalling

in welcome, crying Fly (or Drown) in me.

I have always found it hard to resist an invitation

especially when I have come to a dead end




The poem mentioned on the Octagon plaque was not collected in this book, but it can be found elsewhere.

Sunday afternoon at two o’clock

Downstairs a sweeping broom goes knock-knock-knock
in the corners getting rid of last week’s dust.
The weather hasn’t decided to rain or shine.
Downstairs the washing is hung out, brought in, hung out
again on the clothesline.

Having been to church the people are good, quiet,
with sober stops a the end of their cold Dunedin noses,
with polite old-fashioned sentences like Pass the Cruet,
and, later, attentive glorying in each other’s roses.

The wind combs the sea gulls, like dandruff, out of the sky.
They settle, flaked small, on stone shoulder and steeple,
a city coastal infection without remedy.
Their scattered sea-hungry flocks disturb the good people.

Long past is Sunday dinner and its begpardons.
Cars start in the street. The ice-cream shop is open.
The brass band gets ready to play in the Botanical Gardens.
The beach, the pictures, the stock-car racing tracks beckon.

Seizing time from the University clock, the wind
suddenly cannot carry its burden of chiming sound.
The waves ride in, tumultuous, breaking gustily out of tune,
two o’clock on Sunday afternoon.

Janet Frame has lots of works, according to the information on wikipedia, she wrote eleven novels, four collections of short stories, a book of poetry, an edition of juvenile fiction, and three volumes of autobiography during her lifetime. Since her death, a twelfth novel, a second volume of poetry, and a handful of short stories have been released.



(more information about Janet Frame)

(link 2)

(link 3)

(a short video of Janet Frame)



Here to listen a beautiful song

Keep listening this song while writing this post, I think it touches people’s hearts. This video is from a Chinese TV competition show.

The singer’s name is Linna Gong, the song is from a minority in China. It is about a girl waiting for her lover.

Linna Gong sang this song to her husband who supports her a lot. Her husband is Robert Zollitsch, a composer and producer. He is known as Lao Luo in China, and established himself as an expert of traditional Asian music and a very important composer of contemporary Chinese art music.

Hope you will enjoy it.


Something about Christine Johnston


(image from New Zealand book council)

Johnston, Christine (1950 –) is a fiction writer. She was born in Dunedin where she still lives there. she held a Robert Burns Fellowship in 1994. The picture below is taken from her book Blessed Art Thou Among Women, it gives more information about the author.

She studied modern languages at the University of Otago and has worked as a teacher and university administrator…

1    2

Blessed Art Thou Among Women (1991) is the one shown on the Octagon plaque. It was Christine Johnson’s first book, and it was a novel for adults. The book won the Heineman Reed Fiction Award. Like other Dunedin born writers’ books, the story was based on a Dunedin background, which may give readers some feelings when sitting and reading it in this city.

I liked it so much because of the intensity and oddness of the vision. …Its great strength is a freshness and originality. — wrote Angela Carter

This successful debut was followed by three novels for young adults: Goodbye Molly McGuire (1994); The Haunting of Lara Lawson (1995); and A Friend of Jack McGuire (1996).

Some pieces of her short stories had previously appeared in Landfall, Metro or had been broadcast on National Radio.


(more information about  Christine, Johnston)

(another website)

Tip: if you would like to know more about her, can find her on facebook.