From The Vaults

23 August 2021
A Game Of Poetry

Vane Ihe (41 years old) has been attending Otautahi Creative Spaces since 2017 and has been writing poetry since he was 18. Vane has written over 200 poems, one of which was for New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. Rugby is one of Vane's life-long passions and he recently sent in a few poems to the World Rugby Museum which now reside in the museum's collection.

Otautahi Creative Spaces in Christchurch, New Zealand, was set-up in response to the high levels of mental distress following the major earthquake that hit Christchurch in 2011. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people and consequently being documented as the nation's fifth-deadliest disaster. Following the aftermath of the earthquake, Creative New Zealand responded to the lack of specialist creative wellbeing programmes in Christchurch by establishing Otautahi Creative Spaces. In this secure and supportive environment, Vane has been able to experiment with his poetry to express his love for rugby and its international community.

One of Vane's submissions, Otautahi Rugby Club, speaks of Vane's love for his local club. The speaker talks of dreams, their passion for the club, and how new generations will 'arise' and have 'their turn to shine'. The poem is rich in natural and colour imagery which illustrate the beauty and poetry of the game.

These images seep into another submission, The British Lions Tour, which is reproduced below. In this poem, the 'army in red' champion community spirit, bringing together 'friends…from as wide is east from as wide is west'. The sport's core values of teamwork and sportsmanship are strong throughout, with Vane creatively capturing the joy of the game.

The British Lions tour

the lions are here

it's just begun

the long white cloud

rises to the occasion

at the forefront

the army in red have

come in their hundred thousands

100s of thousands they come in their droves

they have brought

friends young ones alike from as wide is

east is from as wide is west is

aloud is the lions cry from Rawhitis rising sun

the lions have arrived the waiting is done

the local natives welcome them here

haere mai haere mai they left their jobs

their town their castles for this trip they flee

from bluff in the deep deep deep south

traveling all day long until the owl sounds

of late at night to the fantails whistle in the morning

the opposition supporters awaits as far as northlands

bay of islands to the kauri tree the lions have landed

the test tickets are raided the journalist is glued to

the note book another chapter in history have come

of age it's the all black duty to keep the lions

tamed in a cage head meets head eye meets eye

the home nation New Zealand Aotearoa moment

of silence as players of the past who they are

playing for too as they reach the seashore as

all blacks get ready to battle the lions roar

the lions tours about to take of its here at last

hooray hooray it's been 12 years there is a big cheer

now is the time this is the year as opposing hungry

provinces great and small in hope to be part of a

winning legacy to put memories on the shelf memories

on the wall the first lot of matches are over now let's

move to the test matches Christchurch Wellington and Auckland

who will take it out who will be the man of the match who

will get first to the breakdowns who will make the play

which captain will have the triumphant speech

who will have the last say who will be wounded

who will have to go to the doctors with a patch

positions are positions but at end of the day the lions are out classed

in 2003 world cup the star of the world cup was english first fifteen

Jonny Wilkinson but now there's a new kid in the block his name is Daniel

Carter he's the compete footballer he's solid as a rock

he will be in any New Zealand all time 15 i bet this was Umanga's last season

he's won a respectful place you'll see a smile on his face as for Clive Woodward

he'll have to face his critics as he arrives home but he won the 2003 world cup

for England so leave the man alone

Vane Ihe

To learn more about Otautahi Creative Spaces, click here.