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Sol

In this eye
Is my ocean... from where ideas like this come...
this pupil withholds everything I have ever learnt or felt over
the last 30 year...

there are storms within...
cyclones, sunlight and thunderclaps...
I know it looks like just an eye,
but if I close it,

I will forget you.

Koro to Mokopuna | Top

Grandfather to Grandson)
"Upon my knee, I feel like
I'm cradling a cherry blossom... child
...In the palm of my hand,"
(He turns his thoughts inside)

"Oh son..."

"Deep in this valley, beyond the roads and electricity twists a river...
and Embedded in her muddy banks are Tohunga and great eels that bear
photographs, diaries, carvings and moko's"

"I have travelled light through the contours of my flesh,
With Tui's at my back that sing when I've felt lost..."

(Sigh) "Here are my birds...child (holding out his hand),
Their songs, my eyes, feet and stomach...
and here take my shoes, too"
(removing his shoes)

"They are your's now,"

"In return...
All that I ask is that you find
and Cupped hands you drink from the stream."

At the Baptistery Doors | Top

1. At the Baptistery doors...
Hamu stood barefooted...
and With raised eyes,
He pondered the entire body of the tree...
The branches, legs, twigs and fingers...
Placing his ear against the naked wood he dug his hands inside...
Pockets, feeling for coins and sticky spearmint leaves,

2. At the Baptistery doors...
A rusty bucket drew upward into the Florentine sky...
Scooping light...
Hamu licked chocolate as the sun shifted revealing the even sweeter pineapple beneath...
He quivered and his face became the sun itself...

3. At the Baptistery doors...
Ghiberti was still fastening the hinges...
Polishing the gold with knuckles and bare bone...
" Gold can be a bitch, and yellow tin," said Hamu as the light refracted...
Retracted and reclined like a Labrador pulling it's yellow head back into the darkness of the kennel
" Wanna lollie Bert? I ate all the Eskimos, but the body of Christ I have kept for you"

4. At the Baptistery doors...
The cracks in the concrete lead to a lower heaven,
Like capillaries and respirators to let the blood and air in...
On one knee Hamu knelt...
With forehead to stone and one eye closed...
He opened the well to tears that ran down through and beneath,
Like rain and repentance itself,

5. At the Baptistery doors...
Psalms passed through the locks...
Like the sweetness of a snifter emerged from the shell...
" These doors are a kind of consciousness aren't they?"
" and The psalms are the voices of those engraved"
" Let us ponder and sing with mouths full and empty hands!"
6. At the doors Hamu asked of their maker...
" What is inside and upon my tongue as I look upon them?"

" I really dig your doors broノthey remind me of swimming underwater in autumn, looking upward as leaves float by on the current"
" Opening my mouth to rain, huge drops like fresh apples when you bite! and Resting on the riverbank near our house, with the whanau, fragile and warm when those yellow flowers are out"
" I am there as I stand with you here now"
" I am not inside or outside, but within"

Kara : Lily | Top

1. The LILY under
your nail, child...

In this yellow light and upon this
table...
is a SONG...
of no key or CHORD,
strings or ivory...

only a tongue...
like the corners of the mouth turned upward...

2. Of the light shaped over
my hands...
In arcs and rectangles...

like the white and black in the eyes, child...
feeling your heart scoped out,
like the seeds of a melon...

3. The LILY is fragrant...
Like a garden of saints,
with scrolls, nibbled at the edges by
moths...
flitting WINGS in a pocket...

4. A lily and tendrils of SALT water, is you...
Swelling under your lip and breaking
On your TONGUE,
rushing to the back of
your throat...

hearing the syllables of your name...
in
nakedness... and PURITY

I have felt this once,
But ONLY moments after it had past...

In the still,
and the sunlight...
with a LILY resting upon your nape.

* NOTES : 'Kara' means 'Lily' in Japanese

Te Purapura | Top

1. The Painter (Karaka)
Under the arms of a Pohutakawa
the sea swells,
like a flute to the ear,
quenching the thirst in his eye,

lifting his brush and wrapping his knees to the trunk,
the roots descend from his feet,

opening his mouth and straightening his back,
he raises his hands with fantails shooting from
his fingertips.

Kua tii tana moemoea e toona whanaungatanga ki a Tangaroa

2. The Sculptor (Pouriuri)
A child between her palms,
is like Kumara swelling in the belly
of the land,
and aroha knead like sweet bread,

a woman is a mother to the seed in her
hand Te Purapura
and the shape-shifter with clay bones is a burnt sun,
like the flax woven into your tongue,

Ka moe te wahine i te kopu o papatuanuku

The F.A Krull Letters (a contemp. transcription) | Top

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad
(In the footprints of others, I welcome your past)

On Thursday the 27th of January, 1859 'The Equator' navigated
the straits into Wellington harbour,
the bluff rounded where we anchored and slept last night.
I remember the smoke that rose up into
the lap of god,
We stood on deck with flowers,
waiting for the wind to bring us in,
the westerly pulling at our fingertips,
drifting the ship southward toward the
snow.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

When the sun squinted her eyes,
our evenings were spent marvelling at the fires
in heaven,
stretched like Indian silk of the east,
the horizon laden with ink and the blood of
last years wars,

Chief Epuni restless at the loss of his father's cloak,
to be passed through the channels of his whakapapa,
his people now trading their mokos for
gun shaped iron.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

With a dark face and full moko, his mat was interwoven
with Albatross feathers,
sharks teeth were hanging from his ears and
on his chest he wore an idol as his talisman.
in one hand a battle axe, the other a club of greenstone

Te Wiwi's father was only at peace when he slept, I heard his ancestors mourn from the
clay floor,
huddled together in the centre of the whare,
huddled together but not for warmth.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

Arriving at the inn, two travellers traded stories of
the East,
an open window to the Catholics and Protestants
snapping at each others heels for souls,
their beloved empire threading vines under the
Southern Oceans.
But at night as they slept,
the bush matted with a shade to cool the eyes,
wound up through the Rimutakas
and down into the Waiarapa where Chief Te Turuatakiti
bore his people upon his brow.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

When Doctor Rothe fell off his horse and drowned amongst
the arms of the Rangitikei.
His family sat amongst the iwi to imagine him
as a child,
his German heritage blended with the Maori earth,
a Tangi sweeping the valleys for a dead white man,
We slept in our little cottage last night,
our provisions tight at 2 pounds a week,
but father we are so glad to be home.
The sun has been kind and 'The Equator' has now left these
shores,
leaving behind the sailors to trade their sea dogs life for
a glimpse at prosperity.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

I am told there are no roads or tracks into the plateau,
135 miles protect Lake Taupo from the Pakeha,
The Maoris join the yearly caravan toward these healing hands,
the warm waters of god, erupting 60 feet
closer unto heaven.

I am afraid to go alone as the inland hostilities
toward the white man frighten me.

I feel the heart of Aotearoa rests in these hands,
cupped in the warm earth,
the natives continuing to migrate further up north,

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

On the 14th of April the Governor general arrived in Wellington

to a cool reception, the superintendent stern in his stance, his back turned from the grace of the government. The 'Radicals' are bare-faced and rude toward the 'Constitutionals' in manner, I am not proud of our politicians, but still they grow. Several hundred Maoris gathered to catch a glimpse of 'Te Kawana' one woman in a sweeping velvet habit, bare headed with a clay pipe between her lips, her reverence was overwhelming.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

Only 80 miles away the Maoris are at war with
each other.
Chief Tomiona is reputed to be a handsome man,
responsible for the massacre of 500 from another Iwi.

the government fear him for his education,
judiciously ruling his tribe toward civilisation.
He understands the failings of his people and has mastered the
tools of the white man.

We pray for a peaceful home by the waters edge,
but silence seems a virtue beyond humanity.

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

The fuchsias in the front of the house are in full bloom,
the acacias fresh and vigorous,
the summer sky a heavenly blue when the sun goes down
under the ocean,
the peaceful valley of Paikakariki now in the possession
of the government,
the day ends at 5 but rises again at 7.15am when the
Irishman wakes as a native with
white skin,

Schreitend in den Fussspuren anderer, heisse ich Euch willkommen auf Euerem Pfad

The years are crawling up my back and I am an old man
to the eye,

We moved to St Johns Hill, Wanganui when the
bank folded from under us in 1878,
we've remained ever since and I shall die here.
I have lived my life in this country, but the outbreak
of war rendered my services forgotten,
ours peers amassing us all under the German flag to
eventually rename 'Krull' to 'Oakland Ave'.

I have now seen two faces and I trust neither.

The roads have been built but the Maoris appear to have faded from brown to grey. I was born in Germany but my family remain with me in here New Zealand.

(Fredrech died a naturalised man,
bringing us all home to Rongowhakata
his vessel still anchored in Whanganui-a-tara)

Ju-ni Gatsu | Top

Japan is delicate,
and in December when snow settles
upon the branches,
it feels like a Buddhist prayer...

Walking to work,
a stonewall shoulders my path...
it was built 700 years ago
by monks who tendered the gardens with
tiny scissors and a clear mind...

Walking to work,
my fingertips hang out from under the
sleeves of my jacket...
tickled by a morning sun and
a frost, fragile, like the ribs of a leaf...

Walking to work,
the peddlers in steaming noodle
carts have faces like nourished hide...
If you get close,
their foreheads are old photos,
with grandfathers, mothers,
brothers and uncles, resting over their brow.

Walking to work,
from Yoyogi-Uehera, where I live...
it's saintly...
for when the sun hits...
the orange tile roofs
knelt down through the night...
they rise to their feet.

and in Shinjuku, where I work...
the People
have the temperament of porcelain,
with cheek bones
like ZEN...
and Kurosawa

and in the canal,
the carp bask under muddy glass...
sometimes twelve or thirteen at a time,
trading their safety for
the sun,

and over the bridge,
with wide hips and feet resting in a puddle...

I enter the arteries of Tokyo...
With ears open...
listening for you
for Manutuke...
the Te Arai...
and the sound of oranges growing.

* NOTES : A Christmas postcard from Japan to my family back home in New Zealand. As a child I grew up on an orchard in Manutuke, Gisborne and the Te Arai river ran aside our little farm, where my brother and I spent hours and hours eeling on her sandy banks.

The Girl, The Restaurant and The God | Top

1. Outside a restaurant in Harajuku,
the rain fell like a psalm...
and through the windows the lights folded like yellow origami...
She placed her fingers on the glass...and God listened..

Tofu is a Buddhist monk kneeling on a plate,

2. Winters was a stone throw away,
and snow brewed like ice cream churning in the sky...
God slipped into her closed fist and slowly turned her palms inside out...
her face turned red as two apples welled under her cheeks...
but she said nothing...

Soba is the same monk meditating with his toes in the water,

3. I was silent in that sea - that was people...
and she was a buoy, bobbled...
for her head had lowered and her shoulders had drooped like a wilted leaf...
God placed his fingers under her chin...
and upon her tongue he put an olive...
She was so sweet, like torn silk,
Inside me....

Eight Pieces from August 2, 2004 | Top

Kurosawa
On Orchianamizu riverbanks...
A Samurai and an Artist turn out their pockets.

Sakura
Pure silk...
utters "spring"

Homeless
Cardboard caves and wounded shoes...
his blood-shot eyes.

Smile
The sun opens...
children move closer to heaven.

Island
Broken ship on sweaty palms,
a voice over blue table-tops.

Kiyomizu-tera
On a hillside,
crouched amongst tree-tops...
a tiger.

Hideyoshi
The general dismounts...
laying bloody sword and ear to earth.
hears "Monkey"

Tribute to Edgar Henry | Top

Edgar was a Poet...

" I feel like you are on the other side of a wall now Edgar"
" I feel like your teeth are no longer broken and stained with red wine"

" I imagine your ears have become perfectly tuned to the warm blood of poetry, the grammar has finally caved in"
" I imagine you are whole, inside of spring"

" I envision that the key with which you spoke, will never be cubby holed into any pentatonic or diatonic scale"
" I envision that the silence you experienced was much deeper, within the cracks of silence"

" I wonder Edgar...how thick is this wall? 2 feet? 3 and a half maybe?"
" I wonder if I place my ear to it, and you do the same, Can I hear you and can you hear me?"

"I will sing for you a thousand times"
" Edgar you are a Poet..."

But it is the Man I mourn.

Opoutere | Top

The sound of a piano is ringing through this ocean,
4 simple notes along side,
They are tied together by the fishermanユs knot,
With the ends neatly clipped,

The tide is low, shallow in this sink,
The shoulder of the coast is no longer submerged,
My belly rested on the seabed,
I have not the strength to ask, but I am listening...

The piece of music is biological,
An algorithm with an end,
4 primary colours on a palette that is the arm of the painter,
I am your brush...

The bed upon which my belly rests is warm,
Finer than feathers,
A casket around my body, but no dark hole,
Opoutere...

Gentle hands and a rocking chair,
and From their palms the same 4 notes,
But not a piano,
A gut string guitar...
Handed down through 4 generations,
Infant, girl, woman and grandmother,

The branches of my whakapapa are being clipped,
With secateurs,
and Musical instruments, unfretted,
My carcass is made up of leaves that fall in spring
Opoutere...

How far have I travelled?
The miles have collapsed, but the seawater is made up tuku tuku panels,
Navigating our way through the whare,
I am inside...

She is wailing, weaving freshly picked flax between the 4 notes,
My ears tell me she is beautiful,
For there is no seam in her voice...
I drink... But my vessel is almost dry,

We are one tree, one body,
Fed by the same root and connected by the same fishermanユs knot,
I am my brothers and sisters and they are me...
Opoutere...
My skin is growing cold, dry,
Spilling a glass of clear oil that is swallowed up by the sand,
The oil is the mystery of consciousness,
An undefined quantity that now runs through their fingers,
I did not ask, but I am grateful for their help...
I have never seen without the lens of seawater,
The undulation of the ocean is like a pulse,
I have fallen... but the music has not died for the instrument is now a bamboo flute,
and a child...

My mother is near me, but she is dead now,
dissolving into the tuku tuku panels,
They are crying for what has been spilt,
and they will cry for me too...
Gentle hands, and the rocking chair, carved from the finest tree,
Crafted by the most gifted of makers,
I did not ask...and you came...
Opoutere.