Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington


Keep your distance
you’re new here
rough-edged and arrogant

One step closer
and you won’t see me
you won’t see me anywhere

Always lie low, I say
I’ve learnt a thing or two
over 200 million years

Take away your ‘ecologically
appropriate quarters’
this drainpipe will do

And quit drooling over me
I pounce on skinks and wetas
eat my own kind

If a female won’t dance
I bite her neck
and then I take her

Still, I’m glad of a bit of
company. Keep our numbers up
and keep yours down

Not that I’m worried
I’ve outlived the dinosaur
I may outlive you

How many years did you say you’d been here?


Nola Borrell attended Victoria University of Wellington’s 1998 Poetry Workshop and was secretary for the New Zealand Poetry Society (NZPS) from 1999 – 2001. Her poems have been published in the Listener, Takahe, Frogpond, Spin, Hobo, Valley Micropress and NZPS anthologies. She lives in the western hills of the Hutt Valley.