Two words

Two words this morning. SHORT LIST. Bath Short List pic

I’m stoked to have my Novella-in-Flash get this far with the Bath 2018 Novella-in-Flash Award.

No other words today xx


Monsters Conversation

IMG_3266Kia ora WordPress whānau,

Sharing a kōrero (conversation) I contributed to, along with other Indigenous writers from the Pacific Monsters Anthology.

Kia ora to the Institute of Classical Studies in London, for the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful and enriching kōrero.

Iona x

Ode to You


I remember when you were young

so full of tenderness and wonder

a deep chuckle far beyond your years

you knew things that we’d forgotten

but now an enraged beast resides

hacking away beneath the surface

of your beautiful skin

religiously I bargain with gods

grateful when my outstretched hands are slapped away

because it means you are alive

I will not stand by and watch you bleed

you are ageing as you endure this torment

and I must keep my despair

safely tucked away

when you fall I will always pick you up

I refuse to turn my back

or pretend

that the shadowy beast has gone

because I still see glimmers of light inside you

I will not stand by and watch you bleed

when you were young you dreamt of things

much better than this

patiently I wait for you to return

my promise is to speak out

against the cruelty you turn inwards

my place is to remain unflinching

when you clothe yourself in darkness again

because I see the love you hold

deep down


your beautiful skin


Note: A reworked version of an older poem. In support of those left behind, after the recent suicide of one of our young people. Iona x


Whenever I gather harakeke (flax) to weave I notice the interconnection of IMG_1023my hands with Papatūānuku and Rangi-nui. I recall the components that nourish the plant, and always leave three rows of growth, to ensure grandparent, parent and child remain intact.

Past, present and future all in one moment, standing together.

Growth and support are important to me, and without being gushy, I need to say I’m extremely grateful for all the writerly support I’ve received over the past eight months.

Without loving support from whānau, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and people I’ve met on social media platforms, I couldn’t have got through being brain injured and regaining my life by degrees since June 2017. Kā mihi nu nui, many thanks to you all.

A whakatauāki (proverb) ‘Ka mua, ka muri’ prompts me to move forward facing the past—and to be informed, mindful, and supported by it. And I know these three things:

  • Papatūānuku has been brutally treated by us humans. So I will remain committed to being an environmentally conscious woman. We have to stop harming Mother Earth now.
  • It’s all too easy to hate on one another, but aroha (love) is infinitely more powerful. So I’m choosing to stand in a place of aroha first.
  • The future of our mokopuna (grandchildren) is uncertain. It is up to us to do something to prepare the soil for them to grow. So I’ll keep writing stories, preparing gardens, take good care of myself, and be there for those who need me.

Wishing you peace, aroha and wellbeing as we engage with 2018.

Iona x



below IMG_1282

she is a crack in the ocean floor

vapours billow forth, surfacing


she is a primordial rose

magnificent thorns poised to puncture


she is a stain from the cat-caught-bird

whose enduring feathers survive


her water-blood-molecules-life shelter

a temple of moon-babies and secrets