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This year’s National Poetry Day is being held on Friday, 24 August 2018.
PANZA has chosen a rare rugby poem, ‘My Homage to Pinetree’ by Tula Regos, in celebration of the late Sir Colin Meads, who passed away last year. The poem is among the poetry donations recorded at the New Zealand Rugby Museum which I have recently written about in the latest issue of Poetry Notes, Winter 2018.  Thanks to Stephen Berg, the Director, for help in locating the poems.
The poem about Pinetree records the unofficial retirement of Meads, when he turned out for a President’s side in 1973 and defeated the All Blacks. Yet another fitting addendum to the Meads legend. The previous year he withdrew from the 1972 All Black trials, which signalled the end of his career.
The poet is Tula Regos, a Manawatu local, obviously writing under a pseudonym, and we are currently unable to find out who he was, as the name of the poet isn’t recorded with the poem donations by the New Zealand Rugby Museum. There are a sizable number of his poems held by the Museum (at least 36 donations recorded, and some are multiple poems covering individual test series), and Regos seems to have written mostly on and recorded All Blacks matches, 1972-84. There are poems on the Manawatu team as well.
A Papers Past search revealed that “Regos” is Turkish for “troubadour”.
On the President’s game itself, Alex Veysey’s indispensable biography of Meads from 1974 contains a photo of the President’s team. It includes former All Blacks Sid Going (Vice-Captain), Brian Lochore and Graham Thorne, a star in the backline. No doubt a more than handy and capable side to take on the current All Blacks that year.

 

New Zealand rugby union president’s team of 1973. Crown Studios Ltd: Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/2-190755-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22583350

 

Veysey writes: “One of the most affecting happenings in all of rugby occurred at Athletic Park, Wellington, on August 4, 1973, when Meads led the New Zealand Rugby Union President’s Invitation XV against the All Blacks. Though it was never officially stated, the occasion was taken by everyone – the great crowd, the players and, to be sure, the administrators – as being a tribute to Meads. For Meads himself, it was unreal. There he was, the supreme patriot of New Zealand rugby, leading his cosmopolitan side to victory over the team bearing the name he cherished most – the All Blacks. He found it difficult to walk into the All Black dressing room to pay his respects. He said ‘I’m sorry you lost.’ He doubts that many believed he meant it.  But it came from the heart.”
Here is Tula Regos’s poem on the famous game and moment in New Zealand Rugby.

MY HOMAGE TO PINETREE

The mighty All Black team went down
To the President’s Fifteen.
It was really Champagne Rugby,
A pleasure to be seen.
With Pinetree as their skipper,
Fourteen more famous guys.
The President’s Fifteen went out
And scored six mighty tries.
They thrilled the forty thousand fans
Who cheered them all the way
And when Varo scored the last try
It really made their day.
The old campaigners they were called
On radio and Tee Vee.
But it took the old campaigners
To show some strategy.
Now it takes a gang of Lumberjacks
To fell some old Pinetrees.
Yet a team of mighty All Blacks
Could not fell that gang of Mead’s.
At the end of play when in his speech
He told them with a grin,
That he was sad to beat the side
He’d always helped to win.
Now this was all a mighty bluff,
He said it for a lark,
A return game he will skipper
This week at Eden Park.
We wish him well and hope once more
He really calls their bluff
When he proves that old campaigners
Are made of better stuff.
Whichever way the game may go,
We still will all agree
We will never find a forward
To replace our OLD PINETREE.

Poem © Tula Regos 1973

Article © Mark Pirie

Colin Earl Meads. Ref: 1/2-207960-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22737724

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The 32nd issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Winter 2018, Volume 8, issue 4: Rugby poetry at the NZ Rugby Museum by Mark Pirie; classic New Zealand poetry by Honor Gordon Holmes (1911-1953); Paul McCartney 2017 Auckland concert poem by Michael O’Leary; comment on the poetry of Dan Davin by Niel Wright; poetry by Mark Young (Australia/NZ); donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been updated to reflect new acquisitions January-June 2018.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past few years. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

The 31st issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Spring 2017, Volume 8, issue 3: J G Brown: An account by Mark Pirie; classic New Zealand poetry by Bessie L Heighton (1884-1959); comment on Forty Years of Titirangi Poets edited by Ron Riddell; Launch report: Karl Wolfskehl letters by Niel Wright; poetry by Damian Ruth; new publications by PANZA member; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been updated to reflect new acquisitions September-November 2017.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past few years. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

The 30th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Winter 2017, Volume 8, issue 2: Christina Fulton (1838-1874) by Rowan Gibbs; National Poetry Day poem by T E L Roberts; poetic tributes to Princess Diana 20 years on; event report: Winter Readings 2017; poetry by Mary Maringikura Campbell; Selina Tusitala Marsh appointed NZ Poet Laureate; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been updated to reflect new acquisitions June-August 2017.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past few years. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

PANZA celebrates this year’s Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, 25 August 2017, with a classic New Zealand poem by T E L (Thomas Edward Lloyd) Roberts b. Sefton 1873; d. 1952.
Roberts was one of leading poets of the Star group of Christchurch newspaper poets selected and arranged by PANZA Archivist Mark Pirie as a special issue of broadsheet, No. 12, November 2013.
T E L Roberts contributed poems to the Ellesmere Guardian in Canterbury prior to the Star and published the collection Rimu and Rata (1920) and two collections of memoirs about his time in Seddon and Motunau. He was a farmer and a well-known rural figure: Waipara County Council 1914-17; Executive Member of the Farmers’ Union; President of the Waikari Valley Sheepowners’ Assn.; and Secretary of the Meat Producers’ Union; he visited Britain and France in 1905.
Roberts wrote the memoir Motunau, or The Hills of Home, in 1946, same title as his poem below. His prose was reprinted in 1998 and is now considered a definitive history of Hurunui.
The evocative poem by Roberts certainly captures, in the tradition of landscape painters and Romantic poets, the beauty and locality of the place he lived in and roamed.
Like many early poets of the 1920s period, we are perhaps yet to fully come to terms with their contribution to New Zealand poetry.

T E L Roberts

THE HILLS OF HOME

A blush of rose is on our hills,
The sun is at the set,
The portals of the west are swung,
And many clouds have met
To fare him well and see him through
That shining gateway rolled,
That gateway with its closing bars
Of amethyst and gold.

How often have I watched him there,
In boyhood long ago,
A furnace on the mountain tips,
A fire among the snow.
It was but yester, so it seems,
And many mem’ries come,
As here I stand, grey headed now,
Among the hills of home.

The mako lifted forth her song,
That floated far away,
A vesper for the feathered world,
A requiem for the day.
But never comes her music now,
From all the dales around;
Her note is gone, that strange, wild note,
And once familiar sound.

She passed, and we who loved her then
Would it had not been so,
And long to hear her twilight call
Our children do not know;
But gone’s the home and, too, the flowers,
And our first loves with these;
Beneath the hills by Skylight Stream
Alone remain the trees.

We planted in our childhood there,
Neglected now and old.
Like battered frame with picture gone—
A story that is told.
We romped around their youthful forms,
We danced within their ring,
And there we felt the joyous thrill
When love is at the spring.

Still softly flows the stream as then,
The rocks we scaled are there,
Our bathing holes and fishing pools
Are still as then they were;
We paddled here with burnt brown feet,
And here we learned to swim,
And there on rude korari raft
That stretch we dared to skim.

How near to Nature’s heart were we
Who were the first to roam
As children quite unfettered, free,
Among these hills of home.
The spell of childhood grips me now,
The span of years is crost,
The scents of sweet wild flowers come down,
And all the man is lost.

Scargill

(The Star, Christchurch, N.Z, 24 April 1926)

The 29th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Autumn 2017, Volume 8, issue 1: In His Own Words: Jim Boyack (1943-2016); classic New Zealand poetry by Una Auld (1904-1965); comment on Gems of Yesteryear; recent deaths: John Clarke, John Dickson and May Iremonger; launch report: Collected Poems by Michael O’Leary; poetry by Keith Nunes; new publication by PANZA member: Boots: A Selection of Football Poetry 1890-2017; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been significantly updated to reflect new acquisitions March-May 2017.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past year. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.