More of Us, edited by Adrienne Jansen with Clare Arnot, Danushka Devinda and Wesley Hollis, Landing Press 2019
46 writers from 29 countries, all now living in New Zealand, award-winning poets and high school students
The journey of football
In Lebanon my brother and I
used to play football on the street.
There were shops on the right
and houses on the left.
The shops were a dairy, Express (fast coffee),
a farouge that sold alive and dead chickens.
The houses were old, full of Syrian families.
We passed the ball between each other,
wasting time because the days were long.
The sun was shining with no cloud,
the birds were standing on the trees,
their heads were darting, but they were singing.
Then I joined them and started to sing,
‘I believe I can fly’.
I feel nervous, scared,
happy and strong.
I hear the whistle
and we are all running
to get the ball.
We are running like hedgehogs
to score a goal.
It starts to rain,
the wind bashes you back
if you try to run forward.
It is raining so hard
our clothes are all wet.
The grass is muddy and slippery.
I can see people falling.
It is cold, but it gives me a very good feeling.
It makes me forget everything hurting,
it makes me forget all the sad moments.
It makes me live here in this moment.
Mohammad El Fares
Mohammed: I’ve been in New Zealand for two years and I love playing
football. My high school teachers say I’m a very friendly
student who gets on well with everyone, and I’m happy
When we came here
I didn’t know how to sleep
in Aokautere’s silence,
the hush of darkness
was something I didn’t know
how to touch.
My childhood had been a field
of people. They didn’t feature
in our photo albums or come
round for tea. Instead they made
a clatter, rumble, shuttle, rush
just outside the window.
Kirsten le Harivel
Kirsten: I am a writer, programme manager and mother based on
the Kāpiti Coast. I was born in Scotland and am of Scottish,
English and French descent. I have an MA in Creative
Writing from Victoria University and run the annual
Kahini Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat and Kāpiti Workshop Series.
Landing Press page
Landing Press is a small cooperative press based in Wellington that focuses mainly on poetry.