Waka 94


I am Tane Mahuta – and not offended
to be introduced at this late stage.

This is Tangaroa’s story. I merely supply
the vessels. They are a small chink

in the arsenal of Tane. I command mountains,
influence the rain, the presence of my legions

directs Tangaroa’s motions (you know,
from space you see clouds amass above

my forests, my children). I am a long-term
kind of god, not drawn into quick effect.

It is suitable that I am placed near the end
of the Star Waka, to emphasise my length.

from Star Waka (Auckland University Press, 1999), © Robert Sullivan 1999, used by permission of the author and the publishers. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

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