Dogfish by Mary Oliver

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman’s boot,
with a white belly.

If you asked for a picture I would have to draw a smile
under the perfectly round eyes and above the chin,
which was rough
as a thousand sharpened nails.

And you know
what a smile means,
don’t you?

I wanted
the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,
whoever I was, I was

for a little while.

It was evening, and no longer summer.
Three small fish, I don’t know what they were,
huddled in the highest ripples
as it came swimming in again, effortless, the whole body
one gesture, one black sleeve
that could fit easily around
the bodies of three small fish.

Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don’t we?


the dogfish tore open the soft basins of water.

You don’t want to hear the story
of my life, and anyway
I don’t want to tell it, I want to listen

to the enormous waterfalls of the sun.

And anyway it’s the same old story–
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world.

And look! look! look! I think those little fish
better wake up and dash themselves away
from the hopeless future that is
bulging toward them.

And probably,
if they don’t waste time
looking for an easier world,

they can do it.

Dogfish by Mary Oliver

Start at the beginning


“What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time.” 

This is the first street art photo I took with a DSLR. A simple shot of a monarch butterfly on the stairs of St. Kevins Arcade. It may not look like much, but it started an obsession that continues unabated to this very day.
I am so lucky to have people who understand my passion and give me leave to pursue these temporary works of art. I capture these murals with my camera, so they can achieve some sort of permanence somewhere other than my memories.
Council workers can buff them away, taggers can vandalise them, even time can weather them into obscurity. But on film, they are preserved in their prime and can be appreciated by the next generation of urban artists.

I’ve been absorbed by this compulsive hobby for four years. And I’ve loved every moment of it. I only hope you, dear reader, enjoy it as much as I do.

Start at the beginning

Dreaming with a Crocodile

ND8_7836Sometimes you find the most beautiful art in the most inconvenient of places. This surreal mural is situated three stories up in Newton. The only good vantage point is from Ian McKinnon Drive, so I forced my husband to drive as slow as possible so I could get a good shot.
This piece is called ‘Dreaming with a Crocodile’ by the Mexican urban artist Edgar ‘Saner’ Flores. The Mexican beer brand Pacifico brought him to New Zealand to showcase his exhibition and to create a mural for them. He says“The mural is inspired by our trip to New Zealand and our journey through life. The characters and symbols, like the driver with the jade mask represent all those who face new experiences and take challenges that make them lose their fears regardless of the outcome of things, always guided by reason and trust (the house and the kiwi on the tip of the spear).”
I like how he gave it a little touch of Kiwiana by spraying a tiny kiwi on top of the birdhouse. And I know personally (thanks to Instagram) that he thinks our little country is wonderful and would love to come back again.

Dreaming with a Crocodile

The Mysterious Artist on Cross Street

Old Lady

Street art photography is truly a sophisticated pastime. You find yourself hanging out in the most glamorous locations, like rubbish infested alleyways and dodgy car parks.
But my personification of a stray cat has it’s perks. I found these amazing stencils hiding in the corner of the Cross Street alleyway/carpark. The work reminded me of the stencil artist Christian Guémy, even the signature bears a resemblance to his cube moniker.

So I have a question: who are you? I’d love to see more of your work around Auckland.

Man 1 Man 2