John Gallas Poetry


angels of the mountain














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


poem for June 2018


so far and yet so near …

a climbing poem from Mt Stevens, Aorere


Two p.m., and the Bush is shivering in inklings

of forecast snow, but I’ve got my Thermasnug Parka.

The track’s bloody steep, and the spooky sky’s gone darker

than anyone wants. Dismal tip-tap tinklings

tickle the tawai. Bugger it, I’ve been nimbling

my carcass up this cliff for hours . I’ve got

an orange left, and a Chocolate Date : but what

I haven’t got left is the Heart. And Heaven’s wimbling

with daunting dumps of storm. So up I get

to bloody give up, and bloody go down, when Whoosh !

these Beardy Buggers tumble down out of the bush,

and hover in front of me, flapping their wings in the wet.

You’re a squidget away ! they sing, Just go for it, mate !


And I sat on the top in the thunder, and finished my date.





What's Afoot ? Top Ten

1. Just returned from a second residency at Stiwdio Maelor in Corris. A sequence of little poems, 'The History of Mid Wales', written there, due out soon in 'P N Review'.

2. NZ Night ! Reading with Vaughan Rapatahana @ Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham, in early July. Date and time to be confirmed : see/keep up with (

3. '17 Very Pacific Poems' published by Indigo Dreams is now available : see (

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

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

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

7. Won the Earlyworks Poetry Competition.

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

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

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 ...:
"We are none of us unbreakable : only more or less breakable" - 'The Dead Man's Tale'

NZ bush


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