new zealand electronic poetry centre



J O H N   P U L E

John Pule was born in 1962 on the family land of Pia in the village of Liku on Niue. He arrived in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1964 and held a number of labouring jobs before he started writing poetry in 1980. He has published poetry and prose, and his publications include Winter, The Rain (Fragrance on Earth Press, 1981), Sonnets to Van Gogh (FOE, 1982), Flowers After the Sun (FOE, 1984), The Bond of Time (FOE, 1985), The Shark That Ate the Sun (Penguin, 1992), Burn My Head in Heaven (Penguin, 1998), and Bond of Time (Pacific Writing Forum, USP, Fiji, 1998). He received the Pacific Island Arts Award in 1996, was Writer in Residence at the University of Waikato in 1996, Writer in Residence at the Pacific
Writing Forum, University of the South Pacific in 1997, Artist in Residence at the Oceania Centre for Arts & Culture, USP, Fiji and at the University of Canterbury during 1998, and Writer in Residence at the University of Auckland in 2000. John is a full-time artist and poet.


I woke up to find a butterfly across your mouth
you were dressed in those oriental jackets
which tricked me into believing dragons sufficed
so I scrawled a poem onto the wall

how I reached these shores on the Maui Pomare
some white girl, impressed with what I wrote
tore the wallpaper off and ran, I watched
as she ran with maps and charts to my destination

I called out, only half of me belongs here,
she stops, looks back, deep in thought, what do you mean,
she replies, thinking twice about the wallpaper

the land, as I walk towards her, and how
it does not decide who should die or be buried,
before I reach her, only words remained of her flight



Last updated 04 July, 2004