Poroporoaki

she whispers
from the black depths of our Whanganui
her face visible below the surface of the waters
the Pā tuna and her voice
creating eddies contrary to the sacred flow
that is te ao-mārama
she promises to embrace and protect me
just as the Hīnaki embraces the eel
haere mai, haere mai ki toku ngakau
at times I want to look directly in her the eyes


hands perform the wiri
waiting in the shadow i listen
dew and my sweat fall to the wet bush floor
the haka its very sound, tapu
taiaha and patu cut through the mist
crouching or am i bowing
i await the whitiapu

i will become like the turehu

resting, watching, waiting forever
under the shaggy tirawa

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