A surprising post

Sitting at work yesterday, beavering away, when the mail lady comes in. I get the occasional piece of mail at work so wasn’t surprised when she held out an envelope to me.

What was surprising about this piece of overseas post was that it had found me at all.

The envelope was addressed to me at “Piwakawaka Press, Tauranga, New Zealand”. Piwakawaka Press, which published breath in 2011, exists only in one room of my house and in my head. So there is no PO Box number or street address to be found, there is no phone number.

Goodness knows where it had gone, but it had gone somewhere in Tauranga because written on the envelope in another hand in red pen was “try BOP Times”. And there it found me. (I would like to thank NZ Post, often derided for its rapidly reducing services, for even giving delivery a go.)

With no return address, I had no way of knowing who the letter might be from until I opened it.

And I’ve realised as I’ve read and re-read this letter, and told of its extraordinary delivery, that I miss letters. I miss the excitement of opening the envelope, unfolding the paper inside and reading the words someone has addressed entirely to me.

I’m not going to say who this letter is from, or even which country it has come from, but I will say that it has come from someone who, until yesterday morning, was a complete stranger to me, whose haiku I admire greatly and whose reaching out in this entirely unexpected way fills my heart with joy.

I shall be writing back.


Touchstone Awards

Congratulations to Harry Frentz, who is New Zealand’s only recipient of a Touchstone Award from the short-list (which included three others from NZ).

harry touch

Harry Frentz. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Also to Ron Moss who was born in Dunedin but is a long-time resident of Australia. Ron had two haiku on the short-list so it would have been hard lines if he’d missed out!

May 7: Ron has just updated me on the ins and outs of his mixed NZ-Oz allegiances, to wit: He was born in Australia to a mother who was Australian and a father who was a Kiwi. The family moved to his dad’s hometown of Dunedin when Ron was seven and he remained in the city until the age of 25 when he headed back across the ditch (Tasman Sea). “My father, brother and sister are all Kiwis, my mother and I were born in Oz but my mother has lived in Dunedin most of her life now.” He says he likes being claimed as a “cuzzie” (cousin) by Kiwis. We’re glad to have you, kia ora.

The Haiku Foundation sends out as prizes great lumps of stone by airmail around the world, the block engraved with the author’s poem. A real treasure, although less of a paper weight and more of a garden ornament!

sand dune    the width of the wind

– Harry Frentz (aged 17 when he wrote it)

prenuptial contract
fish bones neatly spaced
on white china

– Ron Moss