New verse by Christchurch writer Jeffrey Paparoa Holman.
Kei te whakaako au i taku kurī/I am teaching my dog Māori
I am teaching my dog Māori.
Nobody will object
outside the supermarket
when I tie Tiaki to the bike stand
and bark, “E noho!”
“Enoho, what a lovely name!”
one will say; then another,
“What’s wrong with Jack?
It’s a Jack Russell, isn’t it?”
“Āe, tika tāu, ko Tiaki te ingoa!”
I’ll reply, carefully
so as not to offend.
You can’t be too careful
when speaking Dog
to careless ears. On
windy days out on the park,
I’ll toss Tiaki tennis
balls, call, “Mauria mai e te kurī,
kia tere!” Cricketers in white
will cheer, “Oh my Dog, did
you hear that? That wee Jack Russell,
speaking Māori?” Tiaki cocks
an ear, then cocks a leg.
Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, 2018
The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.
The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.