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Winter in Ōtautahi – Check Out Our Entries!

Arts Access
image Bele Malik. Acrylic on canvas. 76 cm x 51 cm

Ōtautahi in Winter – Donna Faulkner


Out West

beyond the sea,

past plains of buttered grass.



to valley roads

that wend

and crawl

tall titans.


veiny threads

of river


Mountains pose.


in veils

of virgin


A whisper


from craggy breath,



in skin

and bone.

A hawk

upon the updraft.

Steep Peaks

stretch skies


fading denim.

Winter jewels

in Alpine crowns.

Beyond the vista

down below.

the city shivers.

image Winter Sunrises. Sharon Close

Textures of Winter – Christine Reyes


June brings golden light, left over from the months of autumn as the earth meets the sun in an angle just so. Walk along the botanical gardens and watch it drape softly over the bareness and last vestiges of life. July exposes the snow-capped Southern Alps, dusted white from the distance, so close you can breathe the ice in like peppermint to the lungs.


Today, August billowed a sudden blast of warmth, a forceful wraith of the seasons ahead. Budding flowers stand at the ready.

image Stephanie Cartwright

The Coldest Winter In Thirty Years from Christchurch with Aroha – Steve Thomas


The coldest Winter in thirty years

The frosts have thrown the gauntlet down

Our sons have left for warmer seas

And Queensland where the skins are brown

Duranbah, Kirra, Snapper Rocks

Names and points that peel and peak

That crash upon the golden sand

And often pepper surferspeak

As Aussie legends rip the bag

Defy the surf’s cruel undertow

Riding waves as liquid glass

From pit to peak and down they go

To dance on yet another swell

With boards as thin as Arnotts biscuits

Crack another lip and float full forty metres

To say I ripped it!

Back in Brighton riding glass

It’s 8 degrees the ocean

As snowmelt fills the estuaries

And drifts along the coastline

Rubber suits, gloves, boots and hoods

Ice cream headaches pinch and plunder

Tourists stroll the pier

As snow powdered hills peep from under

Skies as blue as Elvis’ jeans

Towards a sea so grey and cold

So perfect is the South Island

Te Waipounamu

A gem a jewel a stone to hold

A secret place, an empty land

The coldest one in thirty years

To whisper is to fix it now, just as it is

Preserved forever secret trails

That lured me here to live and love

But not to die, for that is Wales.

image Winter Wonderland – Ruth Killoran

Winter Wait – Melanie McKerchar

they don’t let us burn things anymore
when the bite of ice grips the bones
making brittle comfort lost

smoke and sea-fog have danced together too long
pallid yellow bedspread on this city
sitting between ocean and alps

heat rises and only those on rungs
higher than this gasp with joy
at the grandeur of snow covered peaks

the chimney’s all fell with the city
and the fireplaces are bored
with the emptiness in their lives

and now we bundle apart fearing for our very breath
as night draws in early
painting the sky fire across plains

patch-worked for wealth we’ll never see
winter is cruel at the bottom
there’s only cold comfort to be had in beauty

image Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour A warm-water port that remains ice-free in winter Deborah Mattson, Ōhinehou/Lyttelton


Entry from Cris Fulton

Feel that cold pinch you,

Now you know you’re alive

See the sun rise pink, crimson,

white, orange, blue hues.

Is that the dust from the Australian desert,

tinting the majestic, snow capped peaks?

Or is it just the subtle bewitchment that

Ōtautahi has cast on you.

Feel that temperature in your body rise

as you stride forward on beach, in forest,

up mountain pathways,

there is beautiful astonishment

all around you, and nothing left to do

but go with the flow of Waimakariri

the wind of the norwester or the slow meander

of Heathcote and Avon.

This is the place,

the place to feel alive,

to strive and thrive

and no matter what

Te Waipounamu throws at you,

earthquake, tsunami, wildfires,

you will always know what to do

respect our mother and know

papatuanuku is looking out for you

Ōtautahi, Aotearoa, we love and honour you.

Mōrena Ōtautahi -Christine Cacot

You are my number one.

The city where I grew,

where I knew was home.

The best sunrise in the morning,

when day is dawning.

The cold,fresh frost,

never washed off my windscreen,

just made it clean.

Snowy mountain views

and blue skies,

were the highlight of a weekend drive.

A burst of colour.

Winter flowers huddle.

Their scent is reminiscent of sweet perfume,

in my room.

Winter gardens.

Bare trees with fallen leaves,

hide the light of the evening sun,

when day is done.

Evergreens,seen in the park,

after dark.

Decorated with lights at night.

Walking in puddles,getting wet.

Being bold,shivering cold.

A hot bath was the aftermath.

Not just a few, but many winters I knew.

My memories are in poetry,

stories of old, told long ago.

A photo or two, refreshingly new.

Arohanui Ōtautahi.

I’ve long since gone.

I’ve moved on,

to new lands and places.

Familiar faces mean I’ll come back

to the cold, the breeze

and the clarity of a winter’s scene.


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