new zealand electronic poetry centre

S E L I N A    T U S I TA L A   M A R S H


has the whole tribe come out from England?


ask the Duchess of Argule, Jane Clifford, the Cheldra
ask the Westminster, the Bangalore, the Ramiliies
ask Sir Robert Sale, William Bryan, Amelia Thomspon,
ask the Timandra, the Blenheim, the Whitby
ask Will Watch, the Arrow, the Fifeshire
ask Lord Auckland, Mary Anne, the Victory
ask the overcrowded Lloyd where 65 perished
ask St Pauli, the Skiold, Phillip Laing, John Wickliffe
ask Bludell and Bernicia
ask Charlotte Jane, Randolph, Sir George, Seymour,
ask the Cressy, the Fly, the Castle Eden
ask Isabella Heras, the Travacore1
ask the 12,000 miles of sea
ask the dead babies
ask the new ones
and ye shall receive
a year and 9,000 settlers later
Wellington is no longer
a question


1. These are the names of the first settler ships to arrive in New Zealand, mainly from England.   Maori at the time, unaware of the real terms of the settlement being negotiated with the British government, the degree and permanency of the migration, were said to have asked the question in the title.   My great great great grandfather was aboard the Aurora which left London in 1839, arriving in Wellington January 1840.





Last updated 23 April, 2006