Topic: Katikati Cemetery by Debbie McCauley

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This poem 'Katikati Cemetery' was written by Debbie McCauley after organising the restoration of her ancestor's headstone at Katikati Cemetery in 2010. John McCauley (Jnr) died 100 years ago on 28 May 1910, his neck broken when he was thrown out of a dray pulled by the same horse that his brother had died in an accident with. Ray McKenzie from BOP Memorials restored the McCauley headstone. The Katikati Cemetery Restoration won the Supreme Award at the TrustPower Western BOP Community Awards in 2010 and Debbie and her children were interview by TVNZ for the program 'Volunteer Power'.

Katikati Cemetery by Debbie McCauley (2010)


White marble, cold,
lying face down
in the dirt
sanctuary for bones
of long dead
Who was listening
when you collapsed?
Gave up on
one hundred years
of standing tall.
He comes,
bearing tools.
Virgin concrete
and strength
pull you upright.
Blinded at first
shoulders fall back,
stately, chic again.
Symbolic of being,
silky lead words
readable once


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Katikati Cemetery by Debbie McCauley