Michael Walker

Michael Walker Poems

I know, or I think I know, where I was born.
New Plymouth, a city with two sprawling cemeteries,
where I found my grandparents' gravestones at last,
but they were covered in gray lichen and moss.

I can see your boarding house now,
A spacious, two-storied bungalow
That overlooked the blue-water harbour.
Your rambling house had good prospects.

Peter Snell was an unknown athlete
when he won the 800 metres gold medal
at the 1960 Rome Olympics, lunging at the tape
to just shade Roger Moens on the line.

I played goalkeeper.
I coached high school soccer teams:
I lost interest.

I worked so long in the shadow of Bob Menzies,
that I was surprised when he did step down.
After a caucus vote, I stepped up to become
the seventeenth Prime Minister of Australia.

Good manners sail on the Gulf Streamof mutual satisfaction:
Bad manners sail in the Southern Ocean of cold indifference.
If most people are well-mannered, all of society benefits.
After getting called out for yawning and not listening

It was my first experience of hard labour,
working in the green fields under the sun,
on a long working holiday near Motueka.

My city used to have video rental shops
dotted around the suburbs of escapism,
though for some time there has been just one,
which closed its doors last week.

('Make a tree sound and its fruit will be sound; ...For the tree can be told by its fruit'. N.T. Matt.12: 33) .

The lemon tree still stands alone outside my bedroom
In a level weedless plot where it flourishes modestly


En me promenant en bas de la Rue Princes
Avec de la glace et personne, je comprends

Alma Road slopes slightly downhill,
which makes it an ideal place to start
a run in the morning, a spring in my step.
I notice Spriggens Park, which is now

The sun is low in the western sky this evening
on my jog beside the river in the heat.
The water isrippling blue with wavelets
on the incomimg tide: it is like a painting to me.

The great jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong opened
for the Beatles at the Auckland Town Hall
in 1964, on a double bill, I sat behind the stage.
Looking like four brothers, the Beatles entered.

Ils ont enleve la robe de lin du corps de la terre
Decouvrant ces membres-la et ces cuisses foux et timides

Pas de l'amour, mais afin de

I was the only boarder in an old villa
out at Island Bay, near the beach
where I took long walks on The Esplanade.
The house was near the bus stop on The Parade.

The nights are longer and darker in August
even though the shortest day was six weeks ago.
The night feels right for thinking and writing
and I concentrate on draft after draft before the final version.

Reinhold Messner, an Italian, has had more highs
than any other mountain climber, having reached the top first
of all the world's 8000 metre-plus peaks in the Himalayas and
the Karakoram.

I have seen lions and tigers in zoos,
Looking fierce. Who would be a lion tamer?
I have seen leopards streaking across the veldts
Of South Africa chasing prey until the end-game.

It must be fifty years since I last rode a bicycle
but this morning I did ride a ten-speed Apollo
around the flat straight streets of my city.
I felt wobbly to begin with and overbalanced


('I cannot tell a lie'. George Washington (1732-1799) . First President of the United States 1789-1797) .

Although I think it is important to be truthful in conversation,
I think there are necessary white lies to protect yourself too.

Michael Walker Biography

I was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand.I went through the education system, high school, and graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA and an MA degree. I taught English and French in a few New Zealand high schools on and off from 1969 till 2006. I travelled to England and France in the early 1970s. I lived and taught English in Grenoble for a couple of years. Here, I spoke French most of the time, but also had time to buy and read many French novels in paperback. The novelist, Stendhal, was from Grenoble and lived there most of his life. I first read Stendhqal's novel, 'Le Rouge et le Noir' ('The Scarlet and the Black') in Grenoble. I rate this novel highly. On return to New Zealand I had two poems accepted by Literary Arts Press, Los Angeles. After that, I did not write any more for years. poems. I went teaching in the South Island, and a few North Island towns. I lived for twenty-four years in West Auckland, 1992-2016. There I had experience of teaching English to adult students in language schools. I lived alone, still do. In 2011, I did a computer course at New Lynn library, and started typing my own poems. In 2016 I moved back to Wanganui where, surprisingly, my writing seemed to improve. My main leisure interest is reading, library books and others that I buy. I prefer nonfiction and poetry anthologies. Without reading, I don't think I could have progressed as a writer. I watch DVDs, and sometimes I can base a poem on them. I like pop music DVDs also. I have had a lifelong interest in physical fitness. In New Lynn I joined a gym, where I got a lot from the treadmill, the exercycle, with some weight training on machines. I wrote a poem about this. Going for a long walk can clarify my thoughts and give me ideas for writing.)

The Best Poem Of Michael Walker

Life And Death.

I know, or I think I know, where I was born.
New Plymouth, a city with two sprawling cemeteries,
where I found my grandparents' gravestones at last,
but they were covered in gray lichen and moss.

The kindly sexton said she would spray the gravestones
and I will go back to see them cleaned and clarified.
My grandparents were always there for me.
My grandfather taught me table manners, sternly.

He and I used to watch the cricket at Pukekura Park
then we would wander around the lake,
seeing the sleek canoes gliding on the surface.
I loved to hear the fountain playing on and off.

I thought that death may not be the end,
when I found their graves last weekend.

-15 June,2016.

Michael Walker Comments

Jane Campion 18 July 2019

Michael Walker, a New Zealand poet who travels with wonderful poems through his life.

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Darwin Henry Beuning 28 January 2019

I consider Michael Walker an outstanding poet. A kinder, gentier person cannot be found. Michael translated my poem, My Question into french. I consider him to be New Zealand's Poet Laureate and I consider him as one of my best friends! ! ! !

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Kumarmani Mahakul 01 October 2018

On behalf of all fellow poets, Poem Hunter Family and our Mahakul family we offer a title of honour to poet Michael Walker as, Grand Hymn. From today on wards he will be known as Grand Hymn Michael Walker. We hope all poets and visitors will accept this. We congratulate poet for having this honorary title and we are wishing him all the best for his future perseverance.

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Prabir Gayen 15 July 2019

Michael walker is a great poet and a good friend..God bless you..

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Fabrizio Frosini 07 October 2016

the book 'VOICES WITHOUT VEIL' has been published! I sent you a copy through your email Our ebook is also online at Amazon.com πŸŽ‰πŸΎπŸ˜‡ and in 20 days, a 5-day-free-download will start... :)

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David Montgomery 31 October 2020

i would like to get his permission the first two lines of On the Map in my book Maps of Trinidad and Tobago I have requested this before but have not received a reply. David Montgomery EMAIL davidmontgomery1945gmail

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Michael Walker 21 October 2020

It has been a long journey since 2012, when I started writing. I made many mistakes, but learned from them. Any improvement which I have made is due to hard work and extensive poetry reading. Positive comments from a smallish group of Poem Hunter friends has helped me greatly. My friends build up confidence in me.

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Michael Walker. 07 October 2020

To David Montgomery, Yes you have my permission to use the two lines from 'On the Map'. I wish you well with your project. M. Walker.

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David Montgomery 06 October 2020

I wish to get permission from Michael Walker to publish two lines from his poem On the map. I am producing a book called Maps of Trinidad and Tobago which has about 250 pages and 125 maps. I am self publishing. the lines are as follows Last night I turned the pages of a new atlas, for a change of direction. to revisit places Thank you David Montgomery EMAIL davidmontgomery1945gmail

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Michael Walker. 13 September 2020

Blair, Thanks for reading the poem so promptly and making a good comment. I made minor revisions to that poem yesterday. Michael.

0 0 Reply

Michael Walker Quotes

In a city, the most precious item for sale is time.

'Life is not fair. Nothing is fair'.

In a hospital, the doctor has power: the patient has none. This is symbolized by a patient lying helpless on a bed, while the doctor stands and talks to him.

'Good evening. You're speaking with the world's greatest'.

'Having performed a task means having become eternal'.

'But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer'.

'A human life does not cease to have meaning right up until the last breath'.

'I remember good deeds that people do to me. I do not bear grudges for too long'.

'I have not been to a movie at the cinema for many years. I have not read any novels by Thomas Kenneally, Jeffrey Archer, Stephen King, or Dan Brown. I found 'The Da Vinci Code' so boring that I did not finish it. I think that J.K.Rowling's novels about Harry Potter rely too much on fairies, elves, and hobgoblins, which are completely outdated now. I tried to read 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo', by Stieg Larsson, but it did not appeal to me.

'A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving'.

'He who conquers others is strong: He who conquers himself is mighty'.

'I am thankful to have reached retirement age and a pension, when so many others did not.'

I will always prefer to live close to the sea and a harbor. Inland cities do nothing for me now.

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