Listen carefully to nature and write your own poem.

What to do

1. Read the 'Listening' poem

Read the poem by Peter Bland or watch Peter read his poem.

"Listening" poem by Peter Bland.


With a microphone plugged into the earth
We can hear ferns creaking, rabbit-chatter,
Tree roots muscling up through the dirt.

We can hear bones turning, slugs spawning,
Mushrooms growing, ants drinking sap.

When we take our earphones off we can hear
Earth's huge silence listening back.

– Peter Bland

2. List what you hear outside

Take a stopwatch with you and sit outside for 2 minutes and 30 seconds without making any noise. Listen very carefully. Make a list of everything you hear.

Stand on something outside that isn't concrete.

  • What do you think is going on under the ground beneath your feet?
  • If you had earphones that plugged into the earth what do you think you would hear?

3. Write your own poem

Use the poem template (PDF, 92K) to make your own version of Listening based on nature in your space.

4. Try writing a waiata/song

Have you found yourself humming lately? Give your hums wings and write a waiata/song.

Perform your song for your whānau, or on a phone or video call to a grandparent or friend. Or just enjoy your own tune, and play to your own rhythm.

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