AMMON HĀWEA APIATA

 

Puawānanga ki te pō

 

Kua kurehe te puawānanga,
ka mawhaki, ka hutia ake ngā aka.
I kaikawautia ngā puanga kia aukatia ai
te toronga ake ki te rangi.
Ko tā ngā pua nei, he tohu noa
i te whakatakariri o Hineraumati
engari tē arohia ngā tiramaka,
otirā, ka katohia, ka rukea atu.

Heoi, matewai tonu ngā pakiaka,
parohea ana ngā rau.
Kāore he wai hei whakanā,
kāore he toto, he kōiwi rānei
hei whakawairākau.
He pāinaina noa iho i te mahana
o tētahi e tāwhai ana i a Tamanuiterā.

Engari kei hea te taepu hei wāhi whakatō
i ngā wāhanga ora o te rākau?
Ā, mā wai rā ngā pihinga e kumanu?
Kei hea rānei te māra e kaha ai ki te taurima
i tētahi whetū kua whakawhenuatia?

 

Puawānanga ki te pō

 

The clematis is withering,
parched and torn up at the roots,
blossoms cut back to
keep them from climbing too high.
Its flowers tried to signal the
approach of a harsh, dry summer
but unwanted omens are
only pruned and disposed of. 

So the roots are left thirsting
and the leaves have begun to wilt.
No water to rehydrate,
no blood and bone to fertilise what remains,
it merely bathes in the warmth
of something pretending to be the sun. 

But where is the soil in which to
plant the few healthy cuttings?
And who will care for the young shoots?
What garden is fertile enough
to foster an earthbound star?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ammon Hāwea Apiata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāti Koata) is a Waikato-based writer. His literary interests include stories inspired by land, language and lineage. He completed an MA at the University of Waikato, in which he explored early 20th-century Māori-language literature.