MIRIAMA GEMMELL

 

Ākaival

 

Prologue

Wairua: We are not discrete.

Mauri: We are inseparable from the whole.

Hinengaro: And so’s you know, I am the hole.

Mauri: No, you are the spark!

Wairua: We walk backwards.

Mauri: The void is not empty, but life spiralling outwards.

Wairua: Blindly.

Mauri: Spiralling downwards?

Hinengaro: Not usually until August.

*

Converngaro #035

Hinengaro: If we were a shape, what would it be?

Mauri: Koru, obviously. Walking backwards into the future. 

Wairua: Nah, porowhita. Renewal, cyclical nature of life. 

Hinengaro: I reckon a mangopare. Mate ururoa! Forwards together.

Wairua: Forwards? Seems a tad colonial to me. 

Mauri: Kāo – the koru is cyclical and features as part of the mangopare. We’re all on the same page but still disagreeing; it’s the classic hui argument!

Hinengaro: That’s why we shouldn’t go to the AGM! 

Wairua: Not because the loud unnecessary conflict triggers a brood-a-thon spanning intergenerational trauma and the depressing sense that we’re inevitably becoming our parents?

Mauri: Ouch, no need to say it like it is.

Wairua: Every sunrise, unfurling a new curl.

Hinengaro: When she was good, she was very very good.

Wairua: When she was bad, she was hori.

*

Converngaro #433

Hinengaro: So the cat is my spirit animal now.

Mauri: Well, you are scratchy.

Wairua: And good at falling off high places.

Mauri: Where you shouldn’t have been.

Hinengaro: Mmm, we do like places we shouldn’t be…

Wairua: Like the paepae?

Mauri: Oof!

Hinengaro: Moana said change is coming….

Wairua: Do you have the raho to stand?

Mauri: Seems to me, we’re the sleeping ngeru woken by sparks flying.

Hinengaro: Then we get testy and speak up.

Wairua: Testes?

Mauri: You know, raho means vulva as well…

Hinengaro: Another ia and ia.

Wairua: Balance is delicious.

Mauri: Like raw fish.

*

Converngaro #154

Wairua: What about some of the other contradictions you’ve got floating about in there?

Hinengaro: Yeah I got one. I think diets are evil and bodies are beautiful at every size – but I still really want to lose weight.

Wairua: Very relatable.

Mauri: All bodies are beautiful and amazing.

Hinengaro: Except the one you wake up in.

Wairua: Woke?

Hinengaro: Thank you.

Mauri: New poem, check it. It’s called, You wouldn’t be fat if you showed love and respect to your body.

Hinengaro: Let’s hear it.

Mauri: Sike!

Wairua: Oof, immersive art.

Hinengaro: Please tell me you’ve planted a seed that will create a paradigm shift for me over the next few days?

Mauri: I have faith in the placebo effect.

*

Converngaro #148

Mauri: I wish I could show you the beautiful woven threads that connect you to your tīpuna and your mokopuna through time and space.

Wairua: And I would love to show you the warmth and love of whakapono i ngā ātua Māori me ngā tikanga.

Hinengaro: But…?

Mauri: I’m metaphysical. Can’t show you shit.

Wairua: And I’m like a baby dragon, barely spit a spark.

Hinengaro: Well I guess it’s the thought that counts.

Mauri: You’re welcome.

Wairua: We’re always here for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mohaka Harara Taupunga Opunga! Miriama Gemmell is a writer from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa with delusions of decolonisation. Her poetry has recently been published in Te Whē, Tarot, Awa Wahine and Kapohau. She lives in Ahuriri with her hoa rangatira, Richard, and two tamariki, James Rewi (9) and Hana Tirohia (7).