new zealand electronic poetry centre

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South to Bluff / ki Murihiku Tonga


Such a great canoe, so many who paddle: we
have rowed from the west and east and north
and now is the hour to row to the south.

Hoea , hoea, hoea mai, hoea ki uta, hoea ki tonga.
And paddle, and paddle to the southern shore.

Now is the time of life to return, to see
how the north looks well from the south, to see
where the Tiitii Islands lie.

He ara moana, ānei tō kupu!
The way is by sea, and here is your word!
Hōhonu ngā wai, hōhonu ngā kupu.
The waters are deep, and so are the words.

We travel south to caulk the leak, we go to the tail
to mend a promise, we come ashore
with our broken treaty.

Waitangi. The crying waters.
Murihiku . The tail of the fish.


Christchurch, 15 April 2006


Last updated 23 April, 2006