South Island Writers' Association

A friendly group of writers based in Christchurch, New Zealand

Our Writing

Writing by current SIWA members

The Preservist
by Celine Gibson

Round and round went the wooden spoon, in a pan so big it could hold half-a-dozen heads, should she ever convert to cannibalism; fortunately, in those years, it was vegetables, fruits and berries.

She lived with a lion and his cubs. And when she wasn’t stirring in the pan, she would throw them meat to stall their prowling.

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Aoraki Hot Air Balloon
by Lois Farrow

Our screams don’t satisfy pilot, Martyn Stacey. Too fake and too quiet, he says. Our landing has been smooth and we are still upright, in spite of obediently bracing for a roll-over landing. Our flight with Aoraki Balloon Safaris has been calm and quiet from start to finish, and there is nothing to scream about.

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by Dawn Marshall

A sweet little kitten called Jade,
disappeared when about to be spayed.
She returned in a while
with a smug pussy smile,
and the six little kittens she’d made.

She wanted a white bichon frise.
She pleaded, went down on her knees.
But her husband said “NO,
puppy come, hubby go,”
Now the dog and she do as they please.

Chasing Dragonflies
by Melanie Koster

She giggles as the tide pulls at the sand under her feet, almost causing her to lose her balance.

“Watch me, Mummy!”

“Don’t go any deeper Miriama, and keep your sunhat on!” Her mother lies under the shade of a ngaio tree, fishing little white flowers from her wineglass.

Miriama chases a dragonfly. It glistens and hovers over the water with cobweb wings. “Look at this, Mummy!”

No reply. A book covers her face, her glass discarded in the sand.

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Seven Haiku
by Barbara Strang

waiting for her birth
one last peach
on the tree

children’s voices
the ducks
swim closer

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Sleeping on a story
by Gail Ingram

The story is lumpy, many small hillocks under the white sheet that’s really a foot kicking my liver and pain shooting to the base of my brain, what’s that called again… the hypothalamus? Tonight, there was a room full of children all wanting their voices to be heard, a theme I keep coming back to, the small boy with the brown face from Egypt or was it Oman? His words are on the tip of my tongue. He told the old man with the kind intentions but he was listening to someone else; I have to try and remember because of his face, the pleading eyes. That was the moment I realised I had it, the whole narrative in a nutshell, the human condition laid bare and I had it! This’ll be the one they’ll want to publish.

First published Penduline Press, Issue 5, 2012

The Devil’s Punchbowl
by Gail Ingram

Nylon drip of rain and rustle
the heaving breathing silent climb,
my jacket outlines me. Through
the trees ahead, a faraway sound,
my teenage son is calling.

The gleeful devil cloud
crashes beyond the viewing platform,
films us in dew, we discover
the voices of poets on the way down
engraved on the runners of steps
soft dark lines you can hardly read
love… bone…. rain

First published Fineline, Issue March 2012

New Shoes
by Lucy-Jane Walsh

They were silver with a strap around the ankle and a three inch heel. When she wore them, her foot was forced into a downwards angle which strained the muscles in her calf and caused her ankles to ache. Her steps were small. Walking too fast hurt her toes and the soles slipped on uneven ground.

She felt as if a hundred eyes watched her. They travelled from her arse to her breasts, pushed out and upright, and then back down to her legs, nice and tender, plenty of meat on the bone.

A wolf whistle. “Hey Girl, I like your shoes.”

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  1. I know that feeling of pockets getting heavy on the beach! Lovely haiku, Barbara

  2. The first one, with the peach, I love that one 🙂 Just a perfect description of the last days of pregnancy, well that’s what it meant to me anyway. Thanks Barbara.

  3. New Shoes: Wicked story, Lucy-Jane. You may have put me off high-heels for life 🙂

  4. Jenna Heller

    May 6, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks for posting these. A great way to get a sense of some of the writing that SIWA members are doing. Great for prospective members like me.

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