Tuesday, September 04, 2007

a found poem (disturbing content)

New Zealand has long prided itself on being a great place to raise kids. Unfortunately it seems this is no longer true for a lot of kids here.

I wanted to find a way to memorialise these children so that their names
and their brief, sad little lives will not be forgotten.

Cut Flowers

If you cut a flower and put it in a vase full of ink
the flower will infuse with the colour.
You can watch the black, blue or red seep
into the traceries of veins that map each petal
until the entire flower is tainted with inkstain.
Unfortunately the ink poisons the flower and it dies.

1999: four-year-old James Whakaruru was punched
and kicked to death by his mother's boyfriend

2000: Hinewaoriki (Lilly-bing) Karatiana-Matiana
died from cerebral swelling after being shaken

2000: Mereana Edmonds, 6, was beaten to death
by her mother Belinda and her lover Dorothy Tipene

2001: Saliel Aplin, 12, and her half-sister Olympia Aplin, 11,
were killed in a knife attack by their stepfather

2003: Tamati Pokai, 3, was beaten to death
by his 'foster father' after the child brought home
a packet of jelly beans from kindergarten.

2003: After he vomited up his dinner,
12-year-old Kelly Gush was kicked to death
by his mother's partner.

2003: Coral-Ellen Burrows, 6, complained
she didn't want to go to school while her stepfather
Steven Williams was driving her there.
He knocked her unconscious, beat her to death
and dumped her body.

2003: Fifteen-year-old Rocky Wano, already hooked on booze
and drugs, had come home for Christmas. His angry father
kicked and beat him to death after finding him drunk.

2004: Tangaroa Matiu was beaten to death with a fence paling
by his stepfather after soiling his pants

2005: Harley Wharewera, 19, was jailed for 10 years
and Jeremy Tawa, 23, for two after attacks on an unidentified
two-year-old boy whose home they shared

2006: Ngatikaura Ngata, 3, was beaten to death
with weapons also after soiling his pants

2006: The who and how of the Kahui twins' killing
have yet to be argued in court where their father
faces murder charges.

Aug. 3rd, 2007: Nia Glassie, 3, died after abuse including
being spun on a clothesline and put in a dryer.

A flower’s needs are simple, as are a child’s: fresh water,
sunshine and beneficent earth.


Blogger Chris Never said...

Jesus H Christ

What a litany of destruction

My heart hurts....

2:57 PM  
Blogger burning moon said...

sorry dear. I knew it would hurt you to read this, it hurts me too. I feel so useless.

But I always think, if they had to bear this hurt, then we must bear to hear it.

I wanted to remember their names. It seems a trivial thing, but important somehow, that they not be disappeared.

Thank you for reading

3:06 PM  
Blogger Chris Never said...


I agree, they have a right to be remembered, they had a right to live without violence.

What does a 'found poem' mean?

I have not heard the term before.

3:32 PM  
Blogger burning moon said...

a 'found' poem means that all, or most, of the content is copied verbatim from somewhere else.

In this poem I wrote the beginning and the end, but the list of children and how they died is lifted from a document I found online. It's been edited a bit, but they're not my own words.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Chris Never said...

Oh ok, thankyou, never heard it before but I like the sound of it

Found poem

its evocative to me for some reason.

Im just weird


2:54 PM  

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