Posts Tagged ‘Hunt’


I thought of this poem today as I drove the narrow, icey roads of  the Otago Peninsula and passed several “little men” on the road.

Maintrunk Country Roadsong by Sam Hunt

Driving south and travelling
not much over fifty,
I hit a possum … ‘Little
man,’ I muttered chopping
down to second gear,
‘I never meant you any harm.’

My friend with me, he himself
a man who loves such nights,
bright headlight nights, said
‘Possums? just a bloody pest,
they’re better dead!’
He’s right of course.

So settling back, foot down hard,
Ohakune, Tangiwai –
as often blinded by
the single headlight of
a passing goods train as by
any passing car –

Let the Midnight Special shine
its ever-loving light on me:
they run a prison farm
somewhere round these parts;
men always on the run.
These men know such searchlight nights:

those wide shining
eyes of that young possum
full-beam back on mine,
watching me run over him …
‘Little man,
I never meant you any harm.’

(its almost Montana Poetry day, so expect poetry here for a bit)

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Sam Hunt’s selection of  James K Baxter’s poetry from AUP


John Newton’s book “The Double Rainbow” about James K Baxter, Ngati Hau and the Jerusalem Commune (from VUP).


Falling Debris David Kilgour and Sam Hunt. Lovely words about it from Nick Bollinger in the Listener.


All reviewed in the latest Listener. I have to say I do think the Books and Arts pages are well on the improve.

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Firstly, I have to report back on the subject of “Crowd Pleasers” posted on Over the Net a while back. They write: “In New Zealand it’s hard to think of any major crowd pleasers…You’d think Rita Angus’s Cass would be a contender, but it has always been crowd-free when we’ve been around.” Well not today! A cloudy Wellington Sunday afternoon and the final day of the Rita Angus retrospective at Te Papa – you could hardly move in the place. At first I thought only one person was stationed in front of “Cass”, but then from behind me I heard “there it is” and a gaggle of middle aged women charged towards it.

Cass – from Ministry for Culture and Heritage social club cake decorating competition

I did a VERY quick run through because the crowd inside Rita’s imagination was a bit much for me today. Oddly the ‘seasick green’ room was quite soothing because there were very few people in there, so I had a sit down and flick through the catalogue. I hope my library copy arrives soon, because I want to have a good read of the essays which looked rather interesting. As an aside, my library came through with Sam Hunt’s new book “Doubtless” last week and it’s great – as good and better than “Talking  of the Weather” plus older works. I have added this book to my ‘have to own’ list.

Upstairs there were some different things on show in Toi Te Papa, and I agree with Best of 3 that “there is a frigging spectacular Driver in the hang – the appropriately named Big Relief (1980).”  that is a railway tarp – isn’t it? Several other things took my eye though including Don Peebles Wellington series (No. 16/60) . A little sad that the McCahon/Shadbolt kitchen bench was gone, but hey I can always look at it online. Oddly the Fomison looked like it was about to fall apart and I kept finding Mark Adams photos throughout the museum!

Te Papa always strikes me as noisy for a museum but my kids love it and they were entertained for hours today. We also had fun lying in the centre of the Hotere/Culbert “Void” which was about as close as they got to the art – “oh not the gallery mum…” Although Inspiration Station, their favourite place, has a new artwork (replacing the Frizzell chicken), the vaguely disturbing Send off by Tony de Lautour.

Having just re-read Rachel King’s “The Sound of Butterflies” it would have been nice to see more Lepidoptera, but maybe another day…

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I have been thinking how dismal my blog has got. I bit like this actually. The stresses going on in my life and the wet and cold winter have seriously impacted on me here. What I find interesting is that in times of hardship the art has almost disappeared from my life. Theoretically I would have thought it would provide some escape, but actually the last thing I want to do is look at art, especially anything challenging. Right now a large proportion of it is just making me irritated. Thankfully others are writing great entertaining stuff.

However there are some things that have been worth seeing. Firstly, Scoop’s poem of the weekagain really hits home for me and a great followup to Diana Wichtel’s excellent Sam Hunt story in the latest Listener (great photos by Jane Ussher).

Talking of the Weather by Sam Hunt

Also as usual Wooster Collective makes my day. I loved this

Bruno Taylor “Play as you go”

And to cheer things along I appear actually to be able to GO OUT to something. Martin Edmond is reading in Wellington tomorrow night as part of a NZ “tour”. That is if his voice holds out. and if things go really well I will get to see Rita too.

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