Heartbeat

I have one beautiful daughter, but making her wasn’t simple. I lost two pregnancies before conceiving her, and three after her, while trying for a second. I started this story years ago and dug it out and finished it just today. It attempts to put into words my belief that our children will always be […]

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Welcome, beautiful boy

A year ago today I was standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre museum in Paris with my daughter, speaking to my ex-partner (my daughter’s father) via FB Messenger, reassuring him and telling him to take deep breaths, to trust the doctors, and to have faith. He was about to witness the […]

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The most usual lie

I wrote this poem some years ago, but I have taken it out today and dusted it off, editing it here and there. I removed a whole verse and changed words and line structure and some punctuation. It feels more authentic now. Sometimes revisiting a piece reminds us how far we have come, and how […]

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Journalism in a time of COVID-19

It’s lockdown day #14 in New Zealand, and every afternoon the brave amongst us tune in to watch the press briefing our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, gives in conjunction with Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Our PM, as various media here and around the world have pointed out, is giving other world leaders a […]

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Today

The world has become still. The voices of the dying are terrifying in their silence. We are grieving what is lost, and what will be lost. We are separate, but united. We are ALL the frontline. We do not know exactly what our world will look like when it reboots. But for today, I am […]

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Punctuation is SEXY (and using it properly will get you more dates online)

So I have a gripe. A grammarian gripe, if you will. A punctuation protestation. I’m pissed off. I’m aghast. I’m fed up. I’m THIS CLOSE to giving an unsuspecting passer-by a good slap. And you, lucky readers, are about to hear all about it. Read that sentence again. Take particular note of the plural: readers. […]

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Four Words

I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived. I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now. I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held. -Mary […]

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If it’s Left, it’s Right

This poem is about finding our way as we navigate intimacy and vulnerability and new spaces in our lives. I wrote it very quickly, although it had been whispering to me for some time, in my head. Sometimes I sense when a piece needs to be written: I feel an “itch” on my mind and […]

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Writing small

I posted this wonderful quote on my Instagram account today. (bellbirdwords). This is so important, and it’s an issue I help many of my clients with. It’s closely related to the “show, don’t tell” rule; another vital principle of good writing that I’m often reiterating to beginner writers. It’s tempting to think you have to […]

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Loving and losing our children

New Zealand’s appalling youth suicide rate is in the news again, as is our impotency in the face of it. A new UNICEF report has found New Zealand’s youth suicide rate – teenagers between 15 and 19 – to be the highest of a long list of 41 OECD and EU countries. The usual culprits […]

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