New verse by Northland writer Briar Wood.
So the story goes
that trickster Kupe
cheated his friend
into diving overboard
to free the lines
then paddled rapidly away.
Best to know that
legendary navigators take huge risks
and do not make the safest companions.
she asked herself—
what do I want—
home in Hawaiki
or the travelling years?
What does he want—
the waka my father gifted?
Matahourua and me?
Or maybe unhappiness
with the man she’d married
drove her to the coast.
she was curious and Hoturapa wasn’t
the kind of man who liked a journey
so she chose Kupe.
Yet even an inveterate traveller
might become weary in a waka
on the open sea,
looking out for landfall.
Travelling direct to her destination—
as the future loomed towards her
she named that radiant land
on the horizon
From Rāwāhi (Anahera Press, $25), the debut collection of verse by Briar Wood, due to be published in October.
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