The Sweetness of Being – Deaf Girl

June 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tui in Kowhai Tree

She listens like a bird,
head cocked to catch the slightest nuance of breath
formed by lips of honeycombed sentences
where she is lost therein
saturated in syrup-like silence.
She doesn’t hear the liquid bell of the Tui
but watches the bob of its boa scarf feathers
and turns to me smiling.
She drinks of the sweetness of being.

Birches in Winter

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Trees in winter

White      bark and lint-flecked trunks,
branches bare as cello strings to be plucked by the wind.
I sigh into this solitude
vacate the hollowed spaces within
Let them lie fallow      untilled.
The bird      black in the boughs
shivers at the paucity      the brevity of leaves
and I in my wandering      sit on the bank
and throw stones for the thrush to mistake for snails
Hammering      yielding the soft flesh of yesteryear
But today no more
The snails are shells      empty in the blight
like my thoughts,      the sky and the trees.

From ‘Island of Feathers’
A collection of lyric writings by Marie-Claire Colyer

Breaking Free of the Dark – New Zealand Dotterel

May 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

New Zealand Dotterel

Pewter sea stretches tentative fingers onto the shell grit and seaweed strewn sand; still in the haven of dreaming, that secretive and seductive pre-dawn. Wave-debris crunches beneath the chilled soles of my feet as I meander along their undulating lines. The sharp tang of pearl-studded weed, fronds wetly crisp underfoot, mingles with the sifting sounds of distant birds breaking free of the dark and the ceaseless susurration of lapping water.

Like an advance honour guard a blackbird tentatively tunes his instrument before launching into song. Nearby, the Tui waits, biding his time from the Kowhai tree before the strong mana of his singing claims centre stage. Light creeps in on the breeze, imperceptibly lending form, revealing the curve of the shore and the clusters of claw prints marking a diligent foray. I follow the small patterns as they weave up and down the bank and then I see it, so still it seems a trick of my eyes, a Dotterel. I blink to focus the slight form, one foot poised, head sleekly rounded against the silvery sea.

Clouds scud like shoals of Tarakihi over the now subdued stars and with them comes the dawn. Light blooms. Colour seeps from the moist sky, greys feathering to blues and subdued tones. Hue and line become ever clearer; the sharp-edged roof of the nearest house, a twining tangle of weed, a discarded sandal with the buckle pitted with rust. The Dotterel stands motionless. Feathers now etch themselves rank upon rank and the newly-gilt flash of an eye catches upon the brimming avian chorus. It stutters forward, head tilted in alarm at my intrusion and then warily returns to probing the sand.

The ink wash of night bleeds silently into the waves, defining shadows where there were none. Each rising cap throws off its shade and stands proudly in the waxing light. Once silver they now shine burnished; row upon row of gilded motion. As the land sheds the patina of night and the sun, risen to expose the coruscating breadth of its orb, burns down, I cast one last lingering look upon the small bird so intent on survival and ingesting a last deep breath turn away.

From ‘Island of Feathers’ A collection of lyric writings by Marie-Claire Colyer

The New Zealand Dotterel is under severe threat. Human competition for the beaches it relies on has meant a decline in Dotterel numbers to the point of being listed as Endangered on the ICU Red List Nests are scrapes in the sand above the high-tide mark. Birds are therefore easily disturbed or eggs destroyed by unsuspecting people and predators such as hedgehogs.

Visit to read more on this wading bird.

Life is for living a bird once told me…

May 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

'New Zealand Fantail - Morning Light' painting by Marie-Claire Colyer

‘New Zealand Fantail – Morning Light’ painting by Marie-Claire Colyer

Like the soft fall of snow in the mountains the downy caress of feathers upon the sky invades my consciousness. A flutter at the window brings me to view the being that flits about the pane like some will of the wisp of sunlight. My friend the Piwakawaka is there beckoning me to leave the drudgery of pencil lines and frustrated streaks of rubber to dither about in its domain. I smile at its antics, the strident call disparaging my attempts at living. Life it says is about now, blue sky dripping with honeyed light, manuka bowing to the heavy drapery of fern fronds and the dizzying chirr of cicadas saturating the air. Life is oneness and energy and a belly full of insects of course. I laugh as it pirouettes and dips its head as if taking a bow. Yes, life is for living.

From ‘Island of Feathers’
A collection of lyric writings by Marie-Claire Colyer

For more information on this painting and to view it in progress please go to my Facebook page

Redolence of Joy

April 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

Tui duet

Solid sensation,
liquid evaporation of joy
to vaporous mist.
This bliss is euphoric,
a tantalising aromatic perception.
The sound of birds aligning their notes
in tantric perfection elates me.
Snow melts across my vision
dripping sedentary sentiment over impression,
cornered by tactility and fragrance.

Pomegranate Tree

April 7, 2012 § 2 Comments

There was a pomegranate tree in my garden,
small and overlooked.
It was barren but once,
but that once was a blizzard of bees and a shawl of perfume
and after, the orange suns of ripe fruit.
Honey to sweeten, fruit to preserve, beauty to behold.
There was a pomegranate tree in my garden,
barren when it gave nothing.
But once it gave its all.

From ‘Heartbeat – Poetry of Love’
A collection of poetry by Marie-Claire Colyer

The Rain Will Come

March 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

Sunset over Big Manly Beach, Whangaparaoa, New Zealand

Wet pigment leaks upon waves.
A soft honeycomb illusion,
this invigorating air tinged with salt
and astir with tumescent clouds all swirling to fulfilment.
The sun goes down like a metallurgic metaphor,
a great cocktail coloured egg yolk into blue alcohol,
an amaranth bloom of night overlaying the eternal stars
where evanescing light dissipates the gloom
and settles darkness upon the brow of hill and curling crest
reaching toward twilight devotion
and the gentle grace of Eurynome.
Thunder rumbles distantly over the horizon’s curve
shadowed by looming heights
and the quiet whisper of a drowsy turn
murmurs with each sweeping surge of froth
stealing over sand and coarsely weathered rock.
The rain will come at last.

‘Kereru’ Painting – New Zealand’s Last Pigeon

March 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

Kereru painting by Marie-Claire Colyer

‘Kereru’ painting by Marie-Claire Colyer

Once it was the Moa and New Zealand’s pigeons that ate the large forest fruits whole, digesting the pulp and dispersing seeds. Now all that is left is the Kereru, the last pigeon. Without the Kereru, New Zealand’s native podocarp-broad-leaf forests would no longer contain the diverse range of species they do. Among others iconic to low-land forests, the Karaka, Puriri, Nikau and Cabbage Tree would be absent from regenerating areas.

It could have happened. The Kereru is now classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN red list of threatened species ( For many years it was Endangered. Like the Moa, New Zealand’s extinct flightless bird, the Kereru was good to eat and its feathers were of use. Now the main pressure is introduced predators. It is just one in a long list of birds confronted by predators it has not evolved to cope with.

For more information on this beautiful pigeon go to

For more information on this painting and to view it in progress please go to my Facebook page or to purchase please go to my contact page.

All That Exists

March 8, 2012 § 2 Comments

Moon Over the Bay

I watch the moon bestowing light,
searching for my own inner pulse,
afraid it has died like coals winking to death.

Yet I find that radiance.
I retain it still;
a beating breath, sublime in its fragility,
stronger than mountain roots.
Though faith be shaken here this day, I feel it still.

I watch the tumble of water, silver by moonlight.
The stream weeps for me;
the sorrowful plunge from the dark depths of the earth,
ice cold,
to embrace the tepid air.
The spring washes the hillside with earth’s tears.

It is all that exists,
the water and the dark mote-strewn night,
the moon and I.

From ‘Heartbeat’
A collection of poetry by Marie-Claire Colyer

I Leave You to Dream

March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

A few words before I lie down:

Branches toss unruly in the dark. The night deepens. A shiver of breeze under the door like a slither of hope that passes before sleep. Slumber infusing each fussing leaf and naked tendril of moss. The birds huddle in pillows of down, covering eyes with wings now folded, fanning across their restless bower. I vacate this desk, close blinds gently over blackened squares, dimming lights, lowering me into quietude.

I leave you to dream.

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