new zealand electronic poetry centre

k a   m a t e   k a   o r a  

a new zealand journal of poetry and poetics
issue 6,  september 2008



Before I keep writing this description of sorts
about you, can I just say a few things.
No one knew where you were the day it was
announced that a tree had fallen.
When trees fall it is a known fact that stones
cushion their mana.

The sun had set and yes also the clouds had spread
a great bed sheet across the firmament.

I am a poet because of you.

Your eyes were woven from the feathers
of tui and of all the damn creatures in the bloody world God
had to use the teeth of sharks to bind those beautiful eyes to a face.
We are lucky huh, that a country like this had gone
through hell to be independent, and our writers had
to think deeply about the first rain they remembered.

What rain was that?

Yes, rain was used to discolor our attitudes, our social morals.
Hell, was that really a God between her legs?
Yes it wasn’t.
Still we all laughed.
Even though I first shook your hands in a magazine
you always and will forever remain a tree.

I am a stone.
There were lots of stones that day.
So many stones that we started to eat stone.
It tasted good.
Stones in the hangi.
Stones under the foundation of our homes.

No one I knew had a program to tell us
when you would be buried.
Like words that never want to be used
Like cars that had no memory
Like roads that had one chance at going to heaven

Ka kite ano


John Pule
12 August 2008




Last updated 5 December, 2008