the word the reckoning & the rose

the poem as guardian of the heart

The poet in society is the guardian of all things just and righteous, the herald of the inner reckoning; the poem is the whole world scrawled in a single word on subway walls; it is a garden of sweet perfume.

Lofty heights for a poet to reach no doubt but no mountain was climbed except the first steps of ascent were taken.

The Word, The Reckoning & The Rose brings together three Nelson poets
 with diverse styles, genuine voices and a love for the written and spoken word. When it comes to matters of the heart, they reckon the poem has got it covered!

Henry Ludbrook, Rose Michel von Dreger and Mark Raffills met through the Nelson and Golden Bay Live Poet’s gatherings over the past 10 years or so. They have performed and developed their show The Word, The Reckoning & The Rose over the last couple of years, refining and developing as they go.

Henry Ludbrook started writing poetry at the age of 16, then stumbled upon the poems of James K Baxter and Sam Hunt.

“I loved the sound of their words without necessarily understanding the poems,” he says. “Until then, I felt like an outsider, but Baxter and Hunt seemed to me to be writing from the margins in various ways and that’s where I was.”

“Some poets write in solitude; I write in cafés for background noise”, comments Rose Michel von Dreger. “It keeps me from thinking too much. Painters have themes and motifs that keep coming out in their art and writers are the same. I write about the sea, constellations, and light, and our place in it all.”

“Whether it is written or spoken, read or listened to, poetry,” says Mark Raffills, “has the power to ignite our spirit, stir us to courage and give to love a depth unfathomed.”

Nelson Fringe Festival 2024
Tuesday 19 March 2024. 7.30PM. $16
Studio One, 1 Rutherford Mews, NELSON


the word the reckoning & the rose