A word, or a thousand pictures? 

RĒINGA

a digital poem by Helen Sword

In Māori legend, Cape Rēinga is ‘the place of leaping spirits’, where departing souls fling themselves seaward, slide down the roots of an old pōhutukawa tree and begin their journey to the underworld. 

My homage to te rerenga wairua brings together the ancient art of stained glass mosaic, the venerable poetic tradition of ekphrasis (cf Keats, Rilke, Yeats,  Merrill, Sexton) and the transformative magic of digital imaging.

Enter the poem through the tree at the end of the world. To begin your journey, choose a sailboat. Explore the pōhutukawa blossoms; click on a new sailboat from time to time; and don't forget the moon. Every reader's pathway will create a different poem.