John Gallas Poetry


















'the greatest New Zealand poet no one has ever heard of' (Spinoff)


poem for January 2018


‘esi Maka Fa’akinanga

a prehistoric stone seat with a high back where Tongan kings sat safe, they hoped, from attack


I see the unpacific King, flat-arsed

in fat alert : and heaviness is all.

Palmtrees slap and sigh. I rattle past.

The frangipani twirls. Plump-tit pigs sprawl

on puppies in the sun. His bull-heart thumps :

his spook-cocked eyes are spears. I pedal round.

The warm hibiscus spills soft-scent through clumps

of hot vanilla-vine. I see him crowned

with coconuts. I stop. The baffled stone

is cold, cold as a meteorite. I bowl away.

A black chook pecks the gravel-shade alone.

The sun insists along Kolonga Bay :

whilst round the fretted dips worn by the head

and arse of Kings, the spider winds his thread.




What's Afoot ? Top Ten

1. '17 Very Pacific Poems' published by Indigo Dreams is now availab1e (see Contacts at bottom of this page)

2. 'The Little Sublime Comedy' now out from Carcanet. See schedule and catalogue, and order from

3. To complete the Year of 3 Books, 'Mad John's Walk' still available from Five Leaves (see Contacts beneath)

4. Won the National Association of Writers Group competition with 'At That Leicester Cafe'.

5. Won the Earlyworks Poetry Competition.

6. Small poem, 'Last Day at Cy's' in the latest PN Review, an edition in memory of John Ashberry.

7. Look out for Interview and poems Back Home (NZ) @ SPINOFF ( courtesy of Bill Manhire.

8. Go to STAND magazine's website ( for 4 love poems, and, forthcoming, more translations of Joachim de Bellay.

9. Both 'Pacifictions' and 'Fucking Poets' have sold out. Thank you, Cold Hub Press NZ.

10. Go to YouTube for 'The Blobfish Sings Under the Sea'. 'Down Tallapike', 'Funeral at Salem'.


Complete Book List

Practical Anarchy (Carcanet)
Flying Carpets Over Filbert Street (Carcanet)
Grrrrr (Carcanet)
Resistance is Futile (Carcanet)
The Ballad of Robin Hood and the Deer (Agraphia Press), pictures by Clifford Harper
The Ballad of Santo Caserio (Agraphia Press), pictures by Clifford Harper
The Song Atlas (Carcanet)
Star City (Carcanet)
The Book with Twelve Tales (Carcanet)
Fucking Poets (3 vols) (Cold Hub Press NZ)
40 Lies (Carcanet) pictures by Sarah Kirby
Fresh Air & The Story of Molecule (Carcanet)
52 Euros (Carcanet)

Pacifictions (Cold Hub Press NZ)

The Alphabet of Ugly Animals (Magpie Press)

Mad John's Walk (Five Leaves : Occasional Pamphlets) January 2017

The Little Sublime Comedy (Carcanet) now out

17 Very Pacific Poems (Indigo Dreams) now out



John Gallas Poetry


Carcanet blog

John Gallas Facebook

Cold Hub Press (NZ)

Five Leaves publishing/bookshop (Mad John's Walk)

Agraphia / Clifford Harper

YouTube (Paterau Sonnent / The Blobfish Sings Under the Sea)

STAND Magazine

Indigo Dreams publishing

Mmm ...:
"God accommodates our happy lies" - 'Umm Lahai Sonnet'

Tonga trilithon


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