The New Students

Delighted that my poem ‘The New Students’ is up on ‘Love in the Time of Covid: A Chronicle of a Pandemic’, a site curated by Witi Ihimaera and Michelle Elvy. The site is a cornucopia of photography, poetry, fiction, video and art, with contributors from around the globe.

A Recital of Poems 17 – Agnes Marton, Janis Freegard, Robert E Petras, Craig Santos Perez, James Hall

Love in the Time of COVID

image by Agnes Marton

Every Mask Goes Back To The Jaguar by Agnes Marton

A carving: a man disguised as a jaguar?

A jaguar in the process of becoming a man?


Jaguar. Raw material for tone trophies.

Jaguar. Model human warrior.

Jaguar. Mythic lover.

Scroll Jaguar, Bird Jaguar, Moon Jaguar.

Dualistic weapons: claws or fangs.

Prominent nasal bridge, large nostrils.

Jaguar. A less-than-human god.

The New Students by Janis Freegard


It begins with a tiny buttercup
that’s forced its yellow face through
a crack in the concrete steps,
continues when we pause our walk
for a fluffed-up tūī clicking and shouting
from a tarata tree.


Our lessons involve careful distancing,
neighbourly smiles.
A flitter of red admirals
gathers near the macrocarpa stand,
a hefty kererū heads home.
We stop to pat a tortoiseshell.


So many paths we’ve never been down,
monuments we didn’t know were there.

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