The machine upon which Hayden typed his opinion (posed by model). Photo: Getty Images

The Friday Poem: i’m still growing, by Josiah Morgan

A new poem by Ōtautahi poet Josiah Morgan.

i’m still growing

he was my bigbigdaddy

and then he taught me how to walk

and the fresh room filtered sun through dust

and the sun it danced in the light to split enz

and neil finn

and my bigbig was so lovely back then


and he was only my daddy

when i opened my mouth to talk

and i was learning some things about words

and words i was putting on the page

and my daddy he said ‘don’t say and’

and put a comma there instead


and i was angry and i was real fuming and i was seven

and my daddy did a coloured stencil

it was from the women’s weekly magazine

and it was the royal family

and my daddy he said ‘don’t tell your mother i’m not a big fan of that lot anyway’

and i said ‘don’t worry daddy’


and ‘i won’t say a thing’

and after that i learned how to stalk after all the things i wanted a new bike

and to impress him

to impress my daddy

and to make him my bigbigdaddy again

and again


and i dug a bigbighole

and i threw my big words into it

and after that i threw one more word in a little one this time

and i covered it all up with dirt

it was ‘and’

it was gone forever now


it was smelly messy my mother she said

‘what have you been up to’ i just shrugged

my brother he laughed

‘jo threw daddy’s book away’

my mother she had no idea

i still needed to find something


it was missing it was comma

my daddy said i needed it to talk

i didn’t know where to find it

i said to my daddy ‘tell me where tell me where i need it

i got rid of words that one you don’t like others too’

he was home from work he told me


he gave me some advice more advice

as my bigbigdaddy was going gone forever

‘you can find a comma here, or there,

or you can find it everywhere,

and only everywhere,’ he said, ‘if you breathe a little every now

and then.’


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until the end of April. Please send your poems to

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