new zealand electronic poetry centre


Doug Poole

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology



The Great Pa

My eyes trace ever back
to the interior; deviate to
shell strata; where the road
cuts through hillock.
this landscape has such proportion-
your shell beds reveal your presence
not too long ago -

Buried with the fire's ashes
Tupuna - your appetitie for cockles & pipis;
claim to the whenua, evident -snapper jawbone, fish scale, neck bone, shell
Tupuna - your mouths ate of these, your fingers made greasy - Sacred Refuse.
In time, the coast & shelf overcame -
the rain & the tide - Now the Pa
Vessels new verse, to the feral winds cry.   

Tupuna - your Mokopuna play closest to the edge
to soothe the pain of subsidence - Aue!
Calling my son - warning him of my fears.
Alas, It is I who does not know
the safety of you - Tupuna.
Protectecting the Tangata Whenua.

At the foot of the great Pa
Is Kath & Steve's Whare - the old social club -
A white horse grazes, stands as the whenua
retraces movements under the feet of ancestors

Atop the great Pa
we are between the darkness & the light
we look in to the waha of the kaipara
back to the Urupa

- tide and time overcomes man - rain & time.


Previously published in Blackmail Press 9

Last updated 20 May, 2005