Best New Zealand Poems 2002
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South Point, Hawai’i

On the Big Island, where the ocean voyaging waka left
for Tahiti, perhaps Aotearoa, we watched the mooring stones:

smoothed by water, smoothed by hands,
carved out to moor the waka.

We felt the spirits soar in the wild wind around us,
wind strong enough to break the wind mills

littering the field. How they soared. We felt them.
This spiritual harbour. We felt them more than the great heiau

lying in ruins, more than the native information centre
with its statue of a woman in chains.

How could the ancestors know such desecration
would arrive in this place? Such sadness.

And yet their spirits soar here. They fly here.
We flew here and flew, our minds and hearts flew.


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