Photo of Aaron Rice

Aaron Rice is a poet, writer, raconteur, chef and wine expert. He grew up in rural New Zealand and studied Law at the University of Otago, before looking at the world around him and deciding that bringing enjoyment to those around him was a nobler goal. He spent several years running bars and restaurants in NZ before moving to a beautiful country on the other side of the world and undertaking a serious study of the world’s wines. He has published only occasionally over the years and mostly in NZ. He spends his time between his family home on the Marlborough Downs and a vineyard in the Cotswolds.   


Poems by Aaron Rice for morphrog23

If you’re looking for me



Short Story



If you’re looking for me
If you ever need to find me

I’ll be between the stacks

Beneath the stairwell

Snuggled up in the library


If you’re looking for me

I’ll be behind the beats

Kerouac at my back

Ginsberg at my feet

Hunkered down in the library


If you’re looking for me

Follow the trail of fines

For overdue books

Smell the love


Sniff out the drool I dripped

Over Leonard Cohen’s tome

“The Energy of Slaves”


Taste the tears I wept

When I first read Wallace Stevens

& in anger at Galway Kinnell


If you’re looking for me

You’ll find me in a library

Or beside or behind one


If you’re looking for me

You’ll find me in a library

If you can find one

© Aaron Rice





You want to make your cakes

Look just like they do in the book


Washes of sunset pink & skin pale marbled

And I show you how


Careful piping and a skewer drawn through

And yes, I’m a little bit sad today


But it doesn’t matter because

We are making cakes


And I have to write about the cakes

Because these days,


If I wrote about every friend

Who died too early


Fell to an epidemic of stupidity

That preyed upon any weakness


I’d write about nothing else.

But these are lovely cakes


And you are my wonderful daughter

Even if you do eat most of the icing.


Hell, I got out. I’m here.

Sometimes I almost can’t believe it.


© Aaron Rice




I lead you down to the depths of the beach

sand dark as wet cement,


stones slick-gleaming & purple weed-strung;

the high tide line a frosted ridge far above.


I lead you down to the deepest cleft,

where limpets hang, blinking in the rare light


I spy tell-tale silver in gurgling depths;

the sun just beginning to rise


I lead you down to the darkest edge

You hold my hand as I lean


Blade in hand to push between ,

Raise dripping treasure in dripping hand


Tonight, dark above the white fingers of tide,

We will dine from the raw embers of a fire


Scatter empty shells across shingle

Return to the sea its litter


© Aaron Rice



Short Story


Sometimes I have to write something on the page just in order to begin writing. So it was with the words Short Story. They simply seemed to be the best way to begin writing a short story.


The first paragraph could then take care if itself by rising up in bold justification of the title and as you can imagine, everything seems to fall into place nicely once I’m well into the second paragraph.


“Why” I think to myself, “I have already written a very serviceable (if not exactly original) title, and two rather finely crafted paragraphs (if I say so myself…). This will be a doddle”. Or at least I hope.


At the moment everything seems to be going well and I mentally cross fingers behind my back, forgetting for a second about the plot and plunging on further into the depths of the fourth paragraph, which seems to grow about me and flow more easily than any other thus far. As I approach the end of the fourth line I become aware of a sense of dread, of becoming engulfed … could this paragraph be planning to entrap me in its introspective embrace?


“No!” with a cry I break free and leap into a new line – determined to pursue the plot, so carelessly overlooked in the previous paragraph. There seems, however, to be no sign of it – the plot has fled and left no trail.


After looking in all directions I decide to begin by going straight on. From what I know of this plot so far it is not of the twisted or convoluted kind, rather, I suspect, it is of the simple, straightforward variety and unlikely to take any complex turns.


As I race on across the keyboard I wonder if I possess the speed and skill necessary to tackle even the simplest plot … should I give up now and call it a day … perhaps try something new like stalking deer.


Now the story has its eyes set upon the prey – an engrossing tale about a novice deerhunter … I try to recall everything I know about hunting deer.


The hero wakes up early, before dawn. The story insists there is coffee. He pours a mug of coffee from the pot his unidentified companions have left on the stove (the story insists it must be from a pot. Authenticity is crucial in the story’s mind.)


The hero walks outside and stumbles. He has foolishly loaded his gun. The story wants to leave him there with a hole in his chest but I think we should probably call someone.


“Who?” the story asks. Maybe his mother? “Nice” the story replies “I didn’t think you had it in you”.


He calls his mother. His mother cries. She tells him how to tend the wound and calls her friend, the helicopter pilot.


“What the hell?” shouts the story. “Who said anything about helicopters?”


Helicopters exist, Story. People don’t need to die. “I hope you’re not expecting to win any awards for this” the story says in its most acidic voice.


I’m not.


“I think we’re done.” The story says.


I think we are.


© Aaron Rice