Not by wind ravaged
- Hone Tuwhare
not by wind ravaged nor rain
nor the brawling stream:
stripped of all save the brief finery
of gorse and broom; and standing
sentinel to your bleak loneliness
the tussock grass -
O voiceless land. Let me echo your desolation.
The mana of my house had fled,
the marae is but a paddock of thistle.
I come to you with a bitterness
that only your dull folds can soothe
for I know, I know
my melancholy chants shall be lost
to the wind’s shriek about the rotting eaves.
Distribute my nakedness -
Unadorned I come with no priceless
offering of jade and bone curio: yet
to the wild berry shall I give
a tart piquancy; enhance for a deathless
space the fragile blush of manuka …
You shall bear all and not heed.
In your huge compassion embrace
those who know no feeling other
of this I lament my satisfaction
for it is as full as a beggar’s cup:
no less shall the dust of avaricious men
succour exquisite blooms with
moist lips parting
to the morning.