new zealand electronic poetry centre



J A C Q   C A R T E R

Jacq Carter’s first appearance in print was in Witi Ihimaera’s Growing Up Maori in 1998, a collection of diverse opinion on what it is to”grow up Maori”. Jacq’s somewhat lengthy tirade (her own choice of words!) was accompanied by four of her poems, one of which appears here, ‘Powhiri’. Jacq is now 28 years old and enjoying a change of pace with her lovely little son, Te Whaiti-nui-a-Toi Te Reke, born December 2001.


My sadness is
I have never known
a kuia fold me
in her arms

My sadness is
that what I know
was not told me
by my kaumatua

My sadness is
that I don’t have the reo
that what I feel
can’t be fully told

but I hear the call of my tupuna
the strongest karanga I know

I bow my head
with respect for them
and from them I draw strength
they walk with me
as I take my first steps
towards all that is theirs

ka tangi te titi
ka tangi te kākā
ka tangi hoki ahau
Tihei mauri ora!

ki ngā mate kua haere ki te pō
ka tangihia e ahau i tēnei wā



Last updated 04 July, 2004