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I THE PAKEHA

I the Pakeha have never felt
the throb and pulse of earth
beneath my naked feet
upon the sands
of this your land.

I the Pakeha have never heard
the tapu prayed,
called down high
amongst the kauris' thighs,
nor gazed upon the mystery
of Tane in the sky.

I the Pakeha have never heard
the calling of the brilliant seas,
nor felt the power of paddles dipped
in flax touched streams,
in your land of timeless dreams.

I the Pakeha have never seen
the taniwha in deepest night,
nor understood your genealogy carved
so wondrous in the wood,
in places where your ancestors
defiant stood.

I the Pakeha have never really learned,
the deepness of your love
for mother earth and hot bright hearth
in the whares gentle sloped,
and kumaras stored in high carved room
with mutton-birds beside.

I the Pakeha have never really heard
true substance of your songs,
the richness of your chanted calls
so high and pure and shrill,
on old pa sites and forest slopes
and deep green pungas' hills.

And I the Pakeha am ignorant
of the golden thread,
and poor I am, not learning
the glory of your dreams
by great mud-flats
and terraced hills
kissed by cleansing streams.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR

 

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