Aotearoa Psalms

October 11, 2009

Since it’s Sunday, today’s offering for New Zealand book month is Aotearoa Psalms by Joy Cowley with photos by Terry Coles, who is her husband.

Joy is best known as the author of children’s books, she has also written adult fiction. I came across this collection of meditations on my mother’s bookshelf.

I especially liked this from God of The Absurd:

Tune my ear to the laughter

of your universe

and help me to understand it

as my own.

And this from Do Dogs go to Heaven?

. . . I can’t count the times God has loved me

through small furred and feathered things,

how often I’ve been taught through them,

lessons of trust and playfulness,

simplicity and self-acceptance.

And since I do believe that heaven

is not so much a place as a state of being

I can say to my own mokopuna,

“Yes there are dogs in heaven.”

dairy 10004

Post 11 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

book month logo green

 Deborah has another Lynley Dodd favourite, Slinky Malinky Cat Flaps at In A Strangeland.

Rob gives us two for one at Rob’s Blockhead Blog: Ten Year’s Inside by Tom Scott and A Dagg At My Table by John Clarke.

And over at Kiwiblog David Farrar adds some facts to the figures on reading Kiwi books.


April 12, 2009

Joy Cowley is probably best known as the author of children’s books although her first published books were novels for adults.

She also writes spiritual reflections and I’ve chosen one of those as Easter Sunday’s contribution to poetry month.

Release  comes from Aotearoa Psalms by Joy Cowley, published by Catholic Supplies (NZ) Ltd, 1989.



It was a bit like

the opening of a tomb, really,

the lids of the cage pulled back

and quick and bright life spilling out

with an eagerness to fly.

As I watched the wingbeat

of those pigeons, I felt mummerings

against the bars of my heart.


All the love imprisoned within me

fluttered for release. Blessings unspoken,

smiles concealed, acts of kindness

which had never got off the drawing board,

clamoured for the light of day.


I wondered about the cost

of opening the cage

and lettering love spread its wings.

I felt a bit frightened.

When I’d given everything away,

could I live with an empty heart?


What I’d forgotten, of course,

was the homing instinct of love,

and how, unlike pigeons,

love always returns

with more than it takes away.

The other thing I forgot

was how love enlarges the heart

to take its increase,

multiplying and enlarging,

multiplying and enlarging,

until the little cage

is as big as the Kingdom of Heaven.


– Joy Cowley –

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