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Poetry

Michael Newman

The Awakening

doubt had vexed my heart 
even your beauty was loss 
and I could not sense the earth 
rounded in the days of plenty 
and then the wind did change 
and the sun rose to the zenith 
evening began a new song 
I arose to dance and laugh 
in the company of light 
to wear a coat broadly weaved 
in threads of vital colour.

James Fagan

Death\\\'s Shadow

Ramshackled by an indelible pump
sheep find shelter camped on a hillside
above a wharekai
as youngsters ride the river banks
with legs slithering on unsaddled horses
1/4 draft
and girls play with wooden peg dolls
in a pumpkin patch.
A magpie stands at a dizzy height
as thrushes inspect old nests
or roost invisible in trees.
A Kaumatua taps his stick below a Teko Teko head
as he shares connections of whakapapa
in a detailed powhiri
Kuia sit in black, with eyes lowered
the rain drifts immersion upon the ground
as death’s shadow lies at the door of a meeting house.
A child looks for her nanny
searching the grounds of the marae
close to the marae atea
sleeping bags will soon find their place
in the wharenui where matted hair lies tapu
and exotic intruders will be heard in the bush as a Tamaiti dreams of ancestors
on the wall in frames.

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Palmerston North

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