Suzanne Herschell

his face persuades with love
distant gaze drifts into past summers of love 

eyes scored in smile lines become sombre
regret weighs heavily, I have neglected love

he confesses with remorse the omissions
undervalued mementos erased despite love 

letters unwritten, those received mislaid
signed bouquets of love 

memorabilia to revive faded moments
affecting cameo that portrays the quality of love

lost through malaise, flimsy resolve
photos redolent of hazy days in love 

touching recollections
of life passionately emblazoned by love 

what of deeds not done, words not spoken 
a lapse that betrays the depth of love 

written in his autumn eyes is a message
speaking of decades of love 

the unwavering look, linking him to me
Suzanne, always conveys such enduring love



Suzanne Herschell

Papatuanuku sighs aloud convulsing earth
mother of Aotearoa endowed us Whenua, earth 

her prophetic voice forewarns, shakes complacency
shock after shock fractures and scours the earth 

reminds that fragility goes in tandem with eco neglect
too late our vow to care for earth 

faults define her, creation’s imperfect lines quake
bleed sour liquefaction over earth 

below Wairau to Raukawa Moana, from an epicentre
split asunder, fissures gouge the earth 

houses crumble, sea rolls with lawless waves
lacking a shore on this devouring earth 

we call for Ruaumoko to still her throes
under tables and doorways we cower in fear of earth 

in the wake of Papatuanuku’s devastation
a trembling Suzanne avows respect for mother earth


SUZANNE HERSCHELL is well known as a painter, with numerous exhibitions and awards in New Zealand and internationally. She says, “I have taken to submitting poems to various forums partly to reach an audience greater than family and to feel the joy of acceptance of work created in such solo circumstances that then gets a public airing, rather like painting.” She occasionally includes her poems in paintings and has poems recently published in the collection Eastbourne: an Anthology.