A new poem by Kāi Tahu writer and rongoā practitioner Arihia Latham.
My boots crunch the weight of me into the blades of grass frozen with yesterday’s anxieties. I start asking for things from a star and wonder if that is a bit entitled, a little whiny. Hiwa i te Rangi, the most likely star to take on celebrity status as all of our hopes flutter to the edge of the atmosphere like moths to her glinting promise. We are busy wishing for our human needs to be met, she is probably wishing we were better descendants. But the dreams I have are involuntarily prised from the mitochondria of my cells and drawn out of the chromosomes I hum with. Not interstellar but cellular. The hopes I have are silent.
The stars rise, a mirage of oil on water, indigo fading to lilac. Hovering below a whispered moon, above the lake; black and breathing. Whakangā, inhale the story of Rākaihautū digging this crater with his kō. I see a figure beside the lake and say it must be a statue of him. We clamber over the muddy bones of mountains, exhalation misting the view till we reach the lapping tongue of the water. Before us is no man but a pile of rocks, our laughter doubles us over like kākahi. Our breath makes clouds, carrying awkward feelings of being tourists on our own whenua, evaporating them slowly beside the ascending decaffeinated sun.
The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.