new zealand electronic poetry centre

D O U G    P O O L E


Black sheep

 (In memory of Peter Stowers)
I remember, when grandmother would moan about Uncle Peter:
‘ Oi e, that Peter is the black sheep of our Aiga,
only see me when he needs money or his girlfriends kick him out,’
The tirade continued, ‘oh that boy make me wild sometimes,’
Softening with Alofa, ‘I wish that boy would call me, I miss him.’
Poy ! What a smile – could light the Pouliuli.
Those Alofa filled eyes, sowed a plantation of children.
His Laughter rocked the house,
Too drunk to pull each other up for dancing, Born in the USA,
Well Uncle Paul thought he was, aye!
Ioe , a child of the plantation. Son of Gogo Sina.
Old maps to the heart of the land, he knew best,
Took him from the Aiga, only to return every blue moon.
Ae , a child of Aotearoa:
Found the old people who journeyed to Aotearoa
In the Coromandel, of all places!
‘Oh Peter, why you never come home. We are waiting,
Rest your weary body, in your fathers fale,
 Leave the sickness behind you, now you can sleep,
We will oil your body, dress you in  your favorite Kowpoy shirt,
wrap you in the fine mat.’ The earth and the stones weep.
The new whanau take your body into the bush,
So far from the plantation of your father.
The title of so much contention.
Lay you here; you liked it within the silence.
Sina , will send another to replace you


Last updated 27 April, 2006