Artist: Nod Ghosh
Image used with permission

She wades

through salt soaked shallows,

searches for pipi,

hopes for kina, with

a bucket on her arm.    

                                                                                                                                                She cries an echo

from sand bars clean,


by the task of harvesting

abundant molluscs.


Elusive echinoderms

charm live victims

to shallow depths,

against the cry of bitterns.


She treads with finite steps,

where sailfins fly

and mermaids die.


She wades between

riptides of fate,

hopes Tangaroa

will find her body.


Copyright © 2015, Nod Ghosh

When the meat and veg of life are difficult to chew, Nod Ghosh finds sanctuary in a gravy of words. Forgotten Skin examines the urge to self-mutilate, while Sailfins relates to when a person chooses death over life.


I’m Glad You Are Still Here


Thoughts of suicidal ideation can creep in to our minds at any time, unexpectedly or repeatedly.  For those of us who have listened and let those thoughts amplify, know that “this too shall pass”, and seek help personally and professionally before it’s too late.

My rule of thumb is to seek help before these thoughts start to lead you astray. It’s never a wise decision to make any decision in business, love or life when we are feeling emotional, distressed, angry or hopeless.

Here is my list of things to think about, to distract you long enough to figure out how you can move forward and heal whatever is hurting you and seek help. Don’t let suicidal ideation become another suicide statistic.

●Talk to a friend,
●ring an anonymous help line,
●talk to your preferred doctor
●join a community group,
●go to church,
●write a poem,
●write a story,
●write a blog,
●write affirmations to yourself
●see a therapist,
●draw a picture,
●go for a walk,
●make a garden,
●join a community garden,
●move your furniture around,
●bake a cake,
●play the drums or guitar,
●write a song,
●listen to music
●ring a friend you haven’t spoken to for ages
●visit a friend or relative

The list is endless really. Feel free to add what helps you move through difficult times in the comments below and I will add them here.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, even when your thoughts are trying to convince you otherwise. You are loved, liked, wanted and needed.

I’m glad you are still here. I’m sad for those we know and love who are not here with us today. I’m sad for their friends, families and professionals who will remember them always, still loving them.

I prefer to ‘write to heal’ as do many of my friends who struggle with mental health at times. You don’t have to be a ‘writer’ or an ‘artist’, the important thing is to express what it is you are feeling and heal, bit by bit, piece by piece and live.


Jodine Derena Butler
Head Lines NZ

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved



Photographer: Wendy Sama
Image used with permission

Dusty grey clouds float overhead, Reminds us of dark days past

A history of pain, hurt and anguish, Oh the memories and the years gone by fast

The clouds drift apart to a sun so warm, To replenish, cleanse us and heal

Lessons learnt and wisdoms earned, We spread our wings and the freedom we feel

All burdens let go and hatred forgiven, The gift of inner power released

Strange emotions felt, love, caring and trust, Past mourned, put to rest, burnt, deceased

Self esteem rebuilt, dignity and pride intact, Our minds our own, the freedom of speech

Positive thoughts, controlled calm and gentle, The attributes in our children we must teach

Through gifts of courage and strength given, Happiness and joy, like the sun, shines through

We give ourselves freely and open our hearts, Love will be given and be honest and true

So we hand you back the remote control, And the ropes which we were once tied

No longer your play puppets to dance on command, We forgive you, the last word spoken –

But wish no longer to stand at your side

Any negative souls don’t tread on our ground, Your control, hate and hurt is unwelcome

Take heed of this warning, as we now stand strong

Only the glorious sun and bright stars shine in our kingdom

We are beautiful women, born of Mother Earth, Once broken, scarred, beaten and weak

Now our fires burn strong, no hate in our hearts

We don’t need you, we are survivors

We will stand on our own damn feet.

Copyright © 2008, Shannan Walsh

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:Hi my name is Shannan, I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager, I have suffered from Anxiety and Depression for many years and writing has been a great therapy. I have had to deal with alcohol and drug addiction in the past. I had a child hood which involved battling with suicide and low self esteem which developed into anger and addiction. My words are my life and the roads I have travelled and I have kept them very private for many years, I am finally ready to share these poems and I am sure many out there will relate and I hope know they are not alone.

The Heart Key

Death becomes my own heart; from red to black
The Heart-Key did what it wilt and beat for to have her love.
Unrequited love devours itself as
Death becomes my own heart.

I stab myself in the heart.
The hole of the heart is where the love is;
From the heart’s hole
Comes the soul of a suicide star
Into the white fire, into the black flames, into the red flares
Of the beauty of love that is the Unrequited Female Will.

Love is my Will: let it bleed.

Will and Love devour me.
Will and love are the soul of her.
Will and love are the soul of Death.
Will and Love devour me.

My Heart-Key opens the lock of the spaceship of Horus
And do thank her
For this beautiful experience of Unrequited Love and Will.

Copyright © 2010 Jarrod Dickson

Jarrod Dickson was born on the 22nd of October, 1986.  He grew up in Hahei in the Coromandel and went to Dilworth School.  Jarrod currently resides in Auckland and is studying towards a BA at Auckland University.  He is an avid writer and has had a novella published by Chipmunka Publishing in the UK.  Jarrod was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 20 and has spent time in a psychiatric hospital for psychosis.

Yellow Ribbon

RIP they say on Bebo when he dies
Tragic says the Herald Family Notice
Inner voices says the specialist
Medical negligence says the mum
Say hello to grandpa says grandma
We miss you says In Memorium
You are with Jesus says the church
You are free of pain now they say
Were you saved? say the brothers
Grief counselling says the headmaster
Copy cat beware says the academic
Save our sons and daughters says dad
Grieve in stages says Kubler Ross
Where was Yellow Ribbon I say

Copyright © 2010 David Bedggood

David Bedggood is a retired university lecturer, father, grandfather and revolutionary Marxist currently living in Auckland, Aotearoa, New Zealand.  He is fighting to end the crazy, diseased, barbaric capitalist system.  His slogan is “don’t kill yourself, kill capitalism!”.

Happy Faces

So this is what it’s come to
distant memories of innocence
lost long ago
memories relived, mistakes
my undoing, all played
out on life’s stage

you’re out there miles away
untouchable, I tell myself
over and over where I’ve gone wrong
it’s too much for the bravest,
I’m not
I know what they’re thinking

I hear it in my head
like a broken record, jumping
over lines.
I look for ways out,
ahead of my future
there is no parallel universe

in my world
just constant reminders
of what I fail to become
and could have been
if it weren’t for me
I am swimming to stop the sinking

feeling, dragging me
down.  it would only take one gulp
one backward sigh of relief
to make it all go away
I never do anything by halves
I am no saint

no martyr for a greater cause
I leave behind everything
that ever was
they could never understand
what I know is my truth,
my world

I don’t belong here anymore
than the rest of us
but you don’t complain
if I could reach out and touch,
the sky, I would
melt away, floating my drops

I trace tracks with my finger
down the window pane
my happy face
smiling back at me

(in memory of Ian CurtisJoy Division – D.O.D, 18th May 1980.  The birth of New Order.  The 2007  movie release of Ian’s life and times is called Control)

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Jodine Derena Butler grew up on various farms all over the North Island of New Zealand.  She now lives in Cairns, Queensland, Australia with her husband.  She has two adult daughters and three grandsons.  Her poems have been published in Side Stream, Blackmail Press, Live Lines Anthology, Tracks Magazine and others. She has a background in social work and mental health and loves to dabble in the Arts.