shot glass
nz shot glass
Issue # 2 September 2010
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Maris O'Rourke, a New Zealander, has been writing poetry for about two years. She has been published in various issues of Takahē; been accepted for the upcoming Bravado 20; was the runner-up in the Auckland Sonnet competition in 2009; and has been selected for a New Zealand Society of Authors mentorship in 2010 to complete her first book.

Maris O'Rourke


My Islands

Safe from predators
I perch on mountain tops
fragments pulled from

A drowning swimmer
fished up by Maui
I gasp upwards
breathe fire and smoke

from tectonic plates
a Möbius
twist of subduction
slides under Raukawa.

A growing mountain range
on Te Wai Pounamu
I groan upwards
safe from extinction.

The Pacific Plate is subducting under the Indo-Australian Plate north and east of New Zealand, but the direction of subduction reverses south of the Alpine Fault where the
Indo-Australian Plate starts subducting under the Pacific Plate.

Raukawa: Cook Strait
Te Ika a Maui (The Fish of Maui): the North Island of New Zealand
Te Wai Pounamu (The place of Greenstone): the South Island of New Zealand