The Road is Winding (poem)

The Road is Winding


Kaikoura is a stop for coffee
& views of the ocean
receding away

I accidentally startle
a tern which flaps away
straight into a moving car
it is last seen descending
rapidly down a bank

I feel guilty about it
for the rest of the journey


above are screeching gulls
shredding the cerulean sky
the sea casually mumbling
the world's secrets

if we knew this language
of rocks and saltwater
kelp and shifting sands
what could we learn?

the road hugging the coast
along narrow shoulders

of rock, past beaches
& promontories,
through tunnels
scooped out 
by the tide's restless fingers

the reach of the ocean


once darkness has overcome us
we are still driving into
geographies of our ignorance
the headlights illuminating our way
the stars revolving in silence above

we have left the coast behind
who knows where the hell we are

these roads have no ending
they just go on & on
effortlessly moving us into
uncharted territory

we are lost sailors
on a sea of black roads
leading to forever
searching for the paths
that climb to the sky -

follow the stars
follow the moon

Joanne Fisher

First published in JAAM 16

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Lewis Pass (poem)

Lewis Pass

you and I
lying together in the darkness
individually wrapped
in our sleeping bags
the heavy rain
on the corrugated roof
of our tramping hut
today we stomped over
river flats & paddocks
in some alternate dimension
where the stars are lanterns
fixed in the sky by angels &
the sun orbits the Earth
after swapping stories
of past lovers
we reached across the spaces
between our distant bodies
& held on to one another's hands
in the darkness
through the night
the rain falling
you & I
strangers to each other's
the rain exploding
above our heads
& slowly filling
the river beyond

Joanne Fisher

First published in The Christchurch Press

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Childhood Beliefs (flash fiction)

Childhood Beliefs

“What was one of the oddest beliefs you had as a kid?”

“I used to think American kids slept with taxidermied animals.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because they always called them stuffed animals. So I thought they were literally sleeping with animals that had been stuffed. Here we call them soft toys. What about you?”

“There’s this brand of bacon called Kiwi Bacon. When I was a kid, the bus I traveled to school on went past a building with a large kiwi sitting on it with the sign “Kiwi Bacon”. So I thought they made their bacon from kiwis…”

“I wonder what that would taste like…”

Joanne Fisher

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Kumara? (flash fiction)


“You’re making a roast tonight?”

“Yes there’ll be roast beef with roast potato, onion, parsnip, and kumara.”

“Kumara? What’s kumara?”

“It’s a sweet potato the Maori brought with them when they settled here. It’s nice baked, roasted, and I also make pumpkin and kumara balls with satay sauce.”

“Sounds great. There’s much about this country I still don’t know, like when the Maori settled here.”

“In the early 14th Century is the most accepted date, and the Europeans first arrived around four hundred years later. The Penguin Book of New Zealand History by Michael King is worth checking out.”

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt sweet potato provided by Carrot Ranch’s March 4 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

New Zealand Election Results

Today was there was a General Election here, though I had already voted. Labour was expected to win, but the real question was whether they would win enough votes to govern alone or would they still need a coalition partner, such as the Greens?

The last three years Labour was in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First. The government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic gave Labour unprecedented levels of support and at one point during the year they had over 60% support in the polls, but of course there was no way they could maintain that level of support.

With over 98% of the vote counted the results were:

Labour 49.0% (64 seats)

National 26.8% (35 seats)

ACT 8.0% (10 seats)

Greens 7.6% (10 seats)

Maori 1.0% (1 seat)

New Zealand First 2.7% (no seats)

There’s some other smaller parties, but I won’t list them. Here’s a site for the results: Election results

These results are provisional. Once the special votes have been counted the numbers may change a little. Traditionally special votes have tended to favour the left, so Labour and the Greens may still increase their seat totals (only by one or two seats though).

As Labour has 64 seats out of 120, they are able to govern alone, should they wish to. They may still ask the Greens to govern with them, but I’m not sure how likely that is.

Jacinda Ardern’s Election Night Speech.

New Zealand’s Electoral System is Mixed Member Proportional or MMP for short. If you want to know more check out What is MMP? It is usually extremely unlikely for one party to be able to govern alone with this electoral system. In fact it’s designed for coalition governments.

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

I Love Trains




Living in Christchurch there isn’t the greatest option for train journeys. There’s the TranzAlpine, which leaves from Christchurch and travels to the West Coast going through Arthur’s Pass. I’ve yet to travel on that one.

The only other train that leaves here is the Coastal Pacific which I traveled on in early 2016 on my way to Wellington. Later that year there was an earthquake in Kaikoura which knocked out the railway line there for some time. The Coastal Pacific travels from Christchurch to Picton, where the Interislander ferry leaves to Wellington. On the way is some very scenic mountainous country and coastline which includes seal colonies.

If given the option, I would prefer to travel by train rather than bus or aeroplane when possible. If I ever get overseas I would love to travel on some of the train journeys I’ve read about. Something to hope for in the future.


Word count: 150


This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #44.


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©2019 Joanne Fisher