18 - Birthday Poems

A Birthday poem.  
Petra Bagust

18 / eighteen

I remember it,

Or not so much.

I was a tad tired,

Depressed it turned out.

An over achiever running aground,

Stalled - before sailing

To healthier shores.

I got 7 As anyway.


18 / one then eight

I think of you everyday,

Or rather I try not to.

Surely I cannot speak -

You are too far off, out of reach -

Out of speech.

My bravado carries me in company

I swagger.

Much like now.


18 / Ten and eight

A year of transition,

From here to there.

Tamati Makaurau - A wrenching away.

Otautahi - A moving toward.

I stand up in my own skin,

sit down in yours. 

Breath out -

Tehei Mauri ora!


18 / tekau mā waru

I fold into you,

Leaning into this offshore breeze.

Warming my spirit.

The glow of truth chimes,

Returning me to my insides.

Turangawaewae -

You are my place to stand.

Hau kāinga - Ihu Karaiti -



A poem by Amber Suckling

Space—muted, subtly, by the 

congregation of people, the softness 

of the air, and the presence of 

holiness. A blanket, a cocoon, a hut 

on a hill for the weary to rest. A 

yellow hazy glow, the breath of 

inspiration. A vibration through ribs 

and throats and lungs that both 

screams and whispers praise at the 

same time, causing no conflict but 

the collision of a human heart with 

the heart of God.

The divine hand holding mine when I 

can no longer stand on my own two 

feet. And where do I meet her? It is 

here, on this worn carpet. At this 

altar. On these seats—mine two 

rows back from the front on the left 

side—that's your left not mine. But I 

don't own it, I just occupy it more 

often then not because I am a 

creature of habit. 


These faces, the faces of family, and 

though I do not know all the names I 

share a commonality with them. We 

are all aware, all seeking, all 

wrestling, all loving, all breathing in



We call it—this place, this square of 

holy ground—Edge. And we return 

here, pilgrims, every week, thirsty. 

We leave here, pilgrims, every week, 

quenched. We stretch out our 

hands, we stain our cheeks with 

tears, we speak, we listen, we stop 

for a moment and regain composure. 


And we are better for it.


Into the future we speak resonance. 

And it echoes into my life and yours. 

This place where I rest my head, 

plant my feet, sow my seed and 

reap. It will be here that the lost find 

home, it will be here that voices 

swell until the walls cannot contain 

the sound—taste and see that the 

Lord is good. 

And we will be better for it.


Clint Gibson