Above the North a taniwha flicks [Waimamaku]
its tongue towards Wairoa. Its tail loops
all the way back to the coast.
Its eye maps the always insistent horizon
brooding in timeless distance across
the consciousness of land. Flexed in flame
wings are sharp set sails
filled with the exultation of isolation.
Always beneath, that stretch of water and earth
marking the end and the beginning of all
stories, the narratives of exile explored as wingbeat
above tumultuous waves. Here history is close.
You hear it in the rhythms of wind roaming
where dark meets light and sea joins earth
in celebration of journeys, the pathos of space
where the heart lies.

from Talking Pictures: Selected Poems (HeadworX, 2000), © Riemke Ensing 2000, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004

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