Kia ora; Tēnā koutou: My name is Kevin Moran. I was born in 1951 in the small township of Moana on the shores of Lake Brunner (Kotuku Whakaoho) in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Mount Te Kinga is my mountain. The Arnold River (also known as Kotuku Whakaoho) is my river.
My poetry often reflects my connections with the West Coast of the South Island (Te Poutini),
Te Waikoropupu Springs in Golden Bay and the Wakamarina Valley in Marlborough where I live.
A major theme of my life has been the quest for awakening. In this age of accelerating climate change, my lives purpose has expanded to include social and cultural awakening. In my late 40’s I entered a challenging midlife transition. My old life collapsed about me. I was de-energised confused and lost. I was also flooded with dreams. Eventually, I discovered ‘something’ within me was pushing its way upward into consciousness. One night, in a dream, I encountered the Self and my heart was filled with radiant energy;
‘I see a blazing sun rising over the edge of a dark sea. I am shouting: ‘the Self! The Self! The Self!’
In the years that followed I discovered the Self had a purpose for my life. I was to undergo an ongoing process of spiritual and psychological rebirth. This pilgrimage has taken many years and continues day by day as I step forward into life’s many challenges. At first, I found it difficult to balance ‘ordinary everyday life’ with the ‘larger reality’ I was encountering. One morning the Self spoke;
‘It’s always going to be a compromise between little i and a natural, open, growth system’.
I understood ‘little i’ to be my ego and ‘a natural, open, growth system’ to be all of me, including the transpersonal life of the Self. For years the Self taught, challenged and inspired me through dreams and short enigmatic ‘sayings’ given on the cusp, between sleep & waking.
Eventually, I was called to share the sayings with others;
‘Could it not be ours to transport the Wisdom within the Flame?’
‘The Flame’ is what Maori people call the Wairua Tapu (the Sacred Spirit). In my books; ‘Takaka Song; Activism and Awakening among the River Tribe’ and ‘Portents from Beyond the Edge; a Personal Exodus,’ I began to share my pilgrimage with the sayings. At present, I am working on two further books that will share
‘the Wisdom within the Flame.’
Sometimes I am asked, what is the Self? The sayings speak metaphorically about the nature of the Self; e.g.
‘Ancient Earth is what I am: Ancient Earth and Timeless Heaven.’
The Self is both, ‘Ancient Earth;’ i.e. Creation and ‘Timeless Heaven;’ i.e. Transcendence. The Self is also the essence of all life i.e.
‘The Self is the essence of every living thing’.
Everywhere we look we see the manifesting life of the Self. If we open our hearts deep enough and long enough it’s there we will find the Self.
I love poetry and the world of poets. As with most poets, the circumstances and challenges of daily life enter my poetry. When I wrote my first book Alchemical Psalms I lived in Brooklands on the outskirts of Christchurch. Brooklands was a beautiful little township of 550 houses that sat beside a lagoon. Around the lagoon is a bird sanctuary that protects the many waders and seabirds which visit the area.
On September the 4th 2010 the province of Canterbury & the city of Christchurch was shaken by a massive 7.1 earthquake. The quake was followed by over 15,000 aftershocks. During one of these aftershocks; a 6.4 quake on February the 22nd 2011, 182 people lost their lives. The village of Brooklands was badly damaged during the quake process. In December 2012, it was declared a redzone; the community had to leave. By April 2013 most of Brooklands village, including my own unrepairable home, had been abandoned. During the February 22nd quake, my mother’s Rest Home was wrecked. Mum was evacuated to Wellington where three months later she died. During this traumatic time of ongoing earthquakes, I continued to work as a trauma counsellor, therapist, supervisor & spiritual companion.
A number of the poems in Alchemical Psalms are influenced by the quakes and my journey with my increasingly unwell (though increasingly wise) mother. Alchemical Psalms also reflects the shamanic initiation I was passing through during those traumatic times. My latest book Portents from beyond the edge tells the story of my departure from Christchurch after the loss of my home in Brooklands. It speaks of the initiation I went through as I travelled north seeking a new home where I could learn the art of writing. Water Protectors tells the story of the ongoing battle of the Save Our Springs Campaign to protect one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s greatest natural treasures; Te Waikoropupu Springs, in Golden Bay. For nearly five years I have coordinated the campaign which, at the time of writing, is preparing for a legal battle in the Environment Court. Wahi Tapu was written after an artists residency in 2017 at Onetahua/Farewell Spit. ‘Wahi Tapu’ in Maori means Sacred Place. The poetry of Wahi Tapu is infused with the sacredness I experienced at Onetahua. Takaka Song, Activism and Awakening among the River Tribe tells the story of how I was called through dreams and sayings to live as part of a spontaneous community (the River Tribe) living on the banks of the Takaka River, Golden Bay. It was at the Reilly Street Carpark, living among young overseas people and a group of mostly Maori Kiwis, that I first became a poet activist and street poet.
My poetry is strongly influenced by my relationship with the Self;
‘The Self is a healer and instrument of healers.’
I believe poetry can be transformative as poet and listener/reader explore the questions, challenges and joys of life. Activism also influences my writing as I coordinate the Save Our Springs Campaign, and join with Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace n.z. and the Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand endeavouring to protect the creatures and ecosystems of the Earth from the ravages of climate change and human ignorance and greed. I hope you enjoy visiting my website. Please feel free to connect with my poet shaman page on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/poet.activist