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These poems were almost all written on the spur of the moment. I sat up at 2 am tapping on the keyboard and when I had finished, the poem Insomnia was on the page. Bones (A True Dog Story) comes from the stories my father tells of his hunting dog. The way he tells about the “eel” episode always brings a laugh. The Greatest Eagle, Under the Scorching sun and The Real Pharaoh all come from my love of wild things. I Want to be a Sailor and When I put to sea came from my love of the sea and being on ships and boats. I wrote My Country, My Home while sitting on a cliff top overlooking the west coast of New Zealand, which also inspired The old Lady on the Hill. Changing Seasons was the first piece I wrote and people who read it encouraged me to do more. A Life on the Land is about a friend of a friend. My favourite poem, The rising storm, was written during a particularly violent thunderstorm. I had to write it by torchlight as the power had gone out. I am the river comes from my love of fishing, as does Where the shadows lie. The saddest of all the poems in this collection, The Last Goodbye, is a tribute to a very good friend (who was also my first girlfriend) who was killed in early 2010 aged 30. For some time now I have had a dream of owning a motorbike. Hence Freedom on a Kickstand. Volcano comes from a documentary I was watching on White Island. Dad spent nearly 30 years working on the railway. This supplied the inspiration for Riding on a Train, and Sitting on the platform. Battle of the River Plate came about because a very good friend suggested I write about a battle or event from history that had not been put into poetry. In our dining room, when I was a child, was a photograph of the HMNZS Achilles. The two themes seemed to go hand in hand. I kept as close to historical truth as possible on this one. I hope you enjoy. Which one is your favourite?

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