Competitive words: a poem from Marcus Hobson


One of the recent National Poetry Day 2018 activities was a series of “given words” poetry competitions. ARTbop Editor Marcus Hobson took the creative plunge.  Marcus tells me his poem was in the selected 10 in his competition.    Here it is… Marcus has included in bold the given words.

“Kiwi As” by Marcus Hobson

Welcome to Aotearoa mate,

We do things differently round here.

So we’ll pardon your unfamiliarity with all things Kiwi.


We call it ‘the land of the long white cloud’,

Where the sun not only blinds but burns,

A long sleeve top is recommended.

Shorts and jandals all through summer,

But bundle up for winter,

We don’t know how to heat our homes.


Building houses from home-grown timber,

Knock up a frame and she’ll be right,

You’ll enjoy the sound of rain on that tin roof,

No need for someone trained in architecture.


Land of the missing flat white builder,

Gib stopper and plumber’s mate.

In fact, if you’re mates with a plumber,

I couldn’t get his number could I?


Land legendary for suicidal drivers,

Going head to head with power poles.

Hence, land of power cuts and fluctuating voltage.

The man at Harvey Norman suggests a surge protector.


Look a little deeper and you’ll see insurrection growing,

It’s time to tell our history like it was,

Not a partnership but a bloody take over,

Clear away the kumara pits, it’s time for growing grain.


We need to know what Kāwanatanga really means,

Just how sovereignty translates.

Soon we’ll all be fluent in te reo,

And you can put that in your pākehā pipe and smoke it.


Well done Marcus – particularly appropriate ending as in a few days in will be the 2018


New Zealand – Māori Language Week, te wiki o te reo Māori, is a government-sponsored initiative promoting the use of Māori language, one of the three official national languages of the country (Māori, English and New Zealand Sign Language). The week is part of the broader Māori language revival and raises public awareness for Māori language revitalization, learning and public usage.

Look for details online Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori​

Dates for the 2018 Māori Language Week are September 10-16 with the theme ‘Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori.’

September 14 is Māori Language Day, a reminder of the day 1972 when the petition for te reo Māori was suspended in the parliament.

Marcus Hobson is the ARTbop Contributions Editor, regular book reviewer and writer.  An aspiring author of both novels and reviews Marcus relocated to the Bay of Plenty from Auckland.  He has in the past done such varied things as study ancient and medieval history, worked as an archaeologist, as an economist in central and southern Africa, and as truck driver in a quarry. Marcus is a lover of art, the written word and a full-time fanatical book collector, with over 3,000 volumes on his shelves. He lives close to Katikati with his artist wife and their three daughters, two cats, a library and the odd chicken. Marcus is currently working on a “factional” work about World War One and works of fiction and poetry.  With Dhaivat Mehta he has also been supportive of ARTbop’s efforts to establish alchemy a spoken word poetry gathering at the Black Sheep Whakamarama.

ARTbop Editor, author, book reviewer at the Black Sheep with a pile of poetry books for alchemy earlier this year

You’ll also be interested in reading the comprehensive review/comments on recent poetry publications Marcus has contributed     “Marcus Hobson: Some Recent New Zealand Poetry Collections”


                                         ARTbop promotes

                     (or we think you should check this out!)

          ARTbop is promoting poetry in the Western Bay of Plenty




Join us every second Thursday of the month,

6.00pm to 8.30pm

Read your own poems or poems by your favourite poet.   Enjoy the power of the spoken word!

Phone:   07 571 8722   021 145 5810

AND JUST TO TAX OUR BRAINS – FOR SEPTEMBER’S GATHERING/CONVERSATION – WE’LL BE HAVING OUR OWN GIVEN WORDS COMPETITION!  Come along and share in the atmosphere of the Black Sheep Bar & Grill Whakamarama and the excitement of spoken words.



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