Conservation inspiration for National Poetry Day

Department of Conservation —  16/08/2013

National Poetry Day, August 16.

It’s National Poetry Day — so there has never been a better time to open our blog to the bards!

Working in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful and scenic places inspires the creative minds of many who work for the Department of Conservation. It’s not surprising then, that we have our fair share of poets.

Piet Nieuwland works in our management planning team in Hamilton, he also writes poetry. To celebrate National Poetry Day he shares with us:

Bar-tailed godwit | Photo: Leo/flickr (cc)

Kuaka/bar-tailed godwit. Photo: Leo/flickr (cc)

Kauri Mountain, Kiwi Coast, Ngāti Korora

By Piet Nieuwland

Through gate
Cross paddock
Down cliff track

It’s a dive straight in
To kelp laden surf
Thick with froth and foam
Where the polygamous languages
Of our genes, speak
Through the warm mouths
Of hot summer skies

White butterflies and monarchs
Jive and jizz and jazz to black cicada beats

Centuries of kuaka, eye to eye, kanohi te kanohi
Lift off in cloud bound north

The crayfish orange hulk of a ship
Crawls into the horizontal zone
The air filling with a sweet
Salty taste
Of creamy flesh

The tooth of a yacht sail
Cuts the wind
Slowly peeling open
Curves of software ecosystems

And from a 4G Apteryx smartphone
A call comes in

Kelp covered beach

Kelp laden surf. Photo: iangbl/flickr (cc)

We’d love to read your nature inspired poems here on the blog today too. Why not share your work with us in the comments?

4 responses to Conservation inspiration for National Poetry Day


    Whew…good stuff… right on cue with the eco systematical abyss.


    I was privileged to be with Piet at Kauri Mountain. His poem definitely captures the essence of how it felt being there. 🙂 Such lovely words and pictures! 🙂


    That is such a lovely poem and nice pictures to go with it. It definitely captures the essence of the day spent with Piet at Kauri Mountain.

    Bruce McKinlay 17/08/2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Piet,
    In all the years I’ve known you you have never failed to inspire with an appropriate piece of verse.

    Whether its a meeting with DOC management or delegates you’ve always pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

    Kia kaha