Monday, June 10, 2013

New poems by Vaughan Rapatahana

home in j. pineda


me & apo canlas

sit on plastic chairs

like tailor’s dummies.


the rain chafes

at cloud corners,

a firing squad

spoiling for a chance

to squall





the   u   sticky pall.




                                                outside the rusted gate,



p  a  t  r  o  l,

pedaling puddles;


for a clutch of peso

to buy baboy.


                                             next door,

                                             in munoz’s busted lot

                                             the flood s     ill





- s   t   a   g   n   a   n   t –

- s   o   u   r   p   u   s   s    e   d –


waiting to join the fray.




[apo – Tagalog for grandmother

baboy – Tagalog for pork]


 under the canopy, redux


under the canopy,

the sun’s grimy fingers

fail to find

snakes’ snide smirks;


the liquid monkey

s  c  r  e  e  c  h  I  n  g



the fetid growth

in eerie tintinnabulation.


a monitor lizard -

surplus to

some grainy

bootleg VCD

ripped from Gadong’s

own jurassic dens –

ogles vines

throttling the

wildwood          floor –

its quick flick


a metronome

for the afternoon thrum.


now – as then –

nothing ever

claims to be some thing

it is not


there’s no plastic bottles                                 a n y w h e r e

at all.

[Gadong – district in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam]


Vaughan Rapatahana is Māori (Te Ātiawa, Ngati Te Whiti) who lives & works in Hong Kong, with a house in Te Araroa, East Coast, Aotearoa-New Zealand. He is married to a lady from the Philippines - where they also have a home. Living now over 14 years in various parts of Asia, including Brunei Darussalam for five years, and also in P.R. China and many other locales.


Published in variety of genre worldwide. Ph. D Existential Literary Criticism, University of Auckland. Poetry editor Māori and Indigenous Review Journal until the end of 2011. Semi-finalist inaugural Proverse Prize in Literature, 2009. Two collections of poetry published end of 2011 - Home Away Elsewhere (Proverse Hong Kong) and china as kafka (Kilmog Press, Dunedin, Aotearoa) and poems published in many publications, such as Poetry SalzburgAsia Literary Review, Orbis, The Journal, Acumen, Landfall, Otholiths, Cordite, Taj Mahal Journal, Shot Glass Journal, Penduline, Main Street Rag.


2012 has seen the publication of the important critique of English language agencies – English Language as Hydra (Multilingual Matters, U.K), two part-collections of poetry, Karon Beach and Bride Price Two (Good Samaritan Press, Thailand) a collection of essays and reviews of the work of Colin Wilson, entitled Philosophical (a)Musings and an e-book of newer poems entitledSchisms (Stonesthrow Poetry, Nevada, USA.)


2013 will see publication of Toa – a novel (Atuanui Press, Aotearoa-New Zealand) among a panoply of projects.


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