Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman (1947 – ) is a poet and short fiction writer. He was born in London and immigrated in 1950. Professionally Holman has worked as a sheep-shearer, postman, psychiatric social worker and bookseller. The poem ‘As big as a father’ won the 1997 Whitirea Prize . Writing about this poem in the Christchurch Press, Mark Murphy suggests it moves “from hard, wounded men … to a softened, bicultural masculinity” Peter Bland notes that in Holman’s work ‘there is a touch of the Steinbecks (anger, loss, moral outrage) drifting through the beerhalls. David Eggleton comments: “Holman affirms the working-class spirit… This is poetry as local history”

I Am a TV Survivor

Taking my pet hate
walking tonight: Survivor’s

on the box and they
drive me spare. Thinking: if

one of those airheads
had met you Nanny, they’d

explode. Mines, incendiaries &
all the steel the Luftwaffe

could unload and still
they couldn’t knock you off! So sit

there by the fire, my dear &
puff your Capstan Cork. I saw

the way your goobies sizzled
when you hoicked dead centre

in the red hot coals. Pet hate nips
at my ankle as we stroll.



Today I Am a Pakeha with Shimano Gears

Yesterday crapped out of
Mindfulness: had one or

Two of those badass revenge
Fantasies you read about in

Books: hei aha, so what?
Today I am a Påkehå with

Shimano gears: my bike tells
Me all is well: “Put the pedal

To the metal and smell the breeze.
Some of that 70’s Be-Here-Now’s

What you need, Paparoa!” The wheels
Spin like memories out of my reach,

The black tarseal pays out beneath
Both knees – there’s wind in my eyes

And whoosh-whash-whish
Fly tons of killer-diller traffic.



2 responses to “Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

  1. Like them both haunting

  2. Hello Jeffery – love your story on Nat Radio , and your book ‘Fly Boy ” is a treasure ! . I too grew up with model planes in the late 60s , and still have a Dumpy Pocket book of Aircraft and Flight 1960 ( my little bible !) Neil Coleman

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