new zealand electronic poetry centre



A P I R A N A   T A Y L O R

Born in New Zealand, Apirana Taylor is of Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāti Pākehā descent. He is a poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, actor and painter, who tries to earn a living as a freelance artist, but currently teaches creative writing at Whitireia Polytechnic. Apirana has won awards for his poetry and drama and is currently working on a manuscript of two of his plays to be published by the Pohutukawa Press. His publications include three books of poetry, Eyes of the Ruru, Three Shades and Soft Leaf Falls of the Moon, two books of short stories, He Rau Aroha and Ki Te Ao, and one novel, He Tangi Aroha. He has been the writer in residence at Massey
University and Canterbury University, and he has toured Europe reading his poetry, which has also been translated into German.

Te Ihi

From where does it come, te hā
the life breath
and what strange winds blow
through this house
in the drift and flow
of whaikōrero
the call
ka ea ka ea
it is clear, it is clear
whakapiri tonu whakapiri tonu
hold fast, hold fast to what
te ihi, te ihi, te ihi
te ihi, what is that
te ihi, what is this word
te ihi, te ihi, what is it
kia mau, kia mau ki te aha
he pāua mura ahi ngā kanohi o Tumatauenga
the flashing eyes of Tū
haka it is haka
lightning flashing in the sky
rapa rapa te uira
ka tangi te whatitiri
and thunder
the beat of the feet till the earth shakes
kia whakatahoki au i a au
from where does it come, te hā
the life breath, te ihi
the sobbing wailing and laughter



Last updated 04 July, 2004