Nelson Enviroschools were privileged to receive a visit from National Poetry Slam Champion Te Kahu Rolleston, at the end of Term one 2015. Te Kahu, whose official job title is ‘Poet,’ works for Te Aho Tū Roa, part of Toimata Foundation. Fresh from the Pacifica festival, with an audience of 4000 people, we were extremely lucky to have him to work with our youth in Nelson, bringing his gifted brand of cool to inspire envirogroups . After a heros’ welcome where students already knew of his work, he went on to show the power that words can have as a tool to convey a message and initiate behaviour change in a relevant and appealing way to our students.
Te Kahu visited 6 schools, as well as giving a public performance at the Elma Turner Library. Students were fortunate to workshop with him to produce their own poetry related to environmental issues. This also illustrated how it is possible to integrate environmental education within other curriculum areas, such as English, in an over stretched programme. His poetry strikes a chord with everyone who hears it and he also instilled confidence in the students to make some awesome performances of their writing.
A poem by Victor Ruhen from Victory School:
Yeah, as that rain falls down
I am thinking about how…
How much of that counts as a drop of life.
Like the flowers growing,
Like da trees bursting out of the ground…
And then I think of the people who can’t get to water
And the joy in their life,
when a drop of precious water hits their tongue.
Water Is Life.
Without water there would not be