This Couplet of poems is deliberately thematically linked.
The common underlying idea is that of redemption and resurrection.
This theme is not new in the indigenous discourse
– poets such as Fanon and DuBois used it extensively.
Hone Tuwhare touches on it.
More recently singers such as Bob Marley and Ben Harper have used it.
Marley’s Redemption Songs is still one of my personal favourites.
Our own redemption of Te Ao Maori is implicit in such songs as E Tu by Upper Hutt Posse
and the work of people like Hinemohi Wehi and Whirimako Black.
to the poems,
penned appropriately at 2am this morning,
in the star light filled night.
Mata – a – riki
Nga whetu tapu mo Ariki-rangi
He tohu mo Papa-tua-nuku.
E tu – nga whetu
Twinkle, twinkle little stars
At last we know who you really are.
2. The wail of Lost Stars / Redemption stars
You weren’t around
when I was young,
a little bit like – my native tongue,
you were the Pleiades to them
just another constellation,
in their white sports coats
and all pink nation.
That didn’t mean a lot to me
it had no song, no himeni* or anthem,
a few of the old people – talked of you
as if you’d died
Tuwhare’s ‘wail of lost stars’
and now, you’ve been revived.
The key thing for me
in this redeemed paradigm,
is that first and foremost
everything you mean and stand for
Pikimai, Kakemai, Te Hei Mauriora.
3. Wail of lost stars – ano.
You were never lost, just erased,
whited – out,
assimilated, no eliminated,
the stars, rhythms and seasons
of the native existence,
were denied to me,
as a deliberate, post colonial strategy.
No wonder I want to shout ……………
‘ All around me he white man
and the white sky
tears at its navel,
all this whiteness that burns’ [ Du Bois ].
And now the white world
turns more and more, in upon itself,
is uprooted and lost
in te po roa [ the long darkness ],
is eaten and consumed
by its own,
8th June 2011