Friday 5 May 2017

1 Poem by Vaughan Rapatahana

park plaques

[ka moe whakaaio ki te mate – Māori - sleep peacefully in death]

we sight them
straight away.
chaperoning   i n d i s c r i m i n a t e   trees
scarcely taller than themselves.
our dog could not care less
sprinkling a territory as wayward as theirs
and sprinting on some occult arc
only he can comprehend.

we stroll to ponder
their names, their dates,
their abbreviate lives;
reflecting on our own.
there seems no connectivity/between
kahikatea and john konia (1927-2003)
pohutukawa and mere jane williams (1985-1999);
some emic
umbilical cord
c o n j u g a t i n g   us all.

the dog barks                                                                                                 distant:
                                               he’s gone feral.
while   they   will               never

[Note: kahikatea and pohutukawa are both New Zealand native trees]


Rapatahana is a New Zealand Māori, on a constant triangular tour between three abodes - Pampanga, Philippines; Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong; Morenawhira, Aotearoa New Zealand. His latest collection of poetry, Atonement, was nominated for a Philippine National Book Award in 2016. He won the inaugural Proverse Poetry prize in 2016.
New Zealand Book Council Writers File:
Winner of 2016 International Proverse Poetry Prize:
Published 2014:         Expand Your Mind with Poetry Books One and Two (Essential Resources, Aotearoa-New Zealand)
(Co-Editor) OutLoud Too  - an anthology of Hong Kong poets (mccm creations, Hong Kong)          (Co-Editor)
Published  2015:        Atonement (ASM/Flying Islands, Macau and MCCM Creations, Hong Kong) - a new collection of poems!atonement/c1wyx
Published 2016:       Atonement (University of Santo Tomas Press, Philippines)
Why English? Confronting the Hydra (Multilingual Matters, U.K.) - a follow up to English Language as Hydra, 2012. (Co-Editor)       Why so serious and Better to jaw-jaw than to war-war  (The Commercial Press, Hong Kong)
(Co-editor.) Published 2017:    Colin Wilson's Lulu (Paupers Press, Nottingham, England)
Forthcoming:   An Introduction to English language Idioms (The Commercial Press, Hong Kong)
                         Multicultural Oceania (Essential Resources, Christchurch, New Zealand)

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