Saturday, 28 July 2012

News of Hinewai (No. 57)

The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. (Missed an episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts.)

A few weeks after the discussion about Ngaire, Hatiti calmly walked up to Ahu and sat down beside her. She took her hand and said “I have heard news of Hinewai“.

Ahu looked into Hatiti’s eyes praying to the gods that this was not bad news. Although anything to do with Hinewai was always bad news. She nodded to Hatiti for her to speak.

“There has been a message sent to me from Moana’s mother Hauku to say that her husband Torangi has heard from Hinewai.” She paused, “That is all.”

Ahu nodded doubtfully. The message was not clear whether Hinewai had contacted him or someone else had told Torangi of her fate. She thought for a little while and then said “Perhaps, Ahuahu could take you up the village where the Kakas call to find out.”

Hatiti nodded. “I shall take Rauora with me so they will see us as a family.” She paused then said. “The only problem is that Ahuahu may not want to have anything to do with this matter. He was offended by her behaviour all those years ago.”

Ahu smiled “His love for us surpasses all that. He knows how you grieve for her. Whatever the news he is the best one to be by your side.”

Hatiti nodded in agreement. Then Ahu suggested they take Horowai as well as she could play with Moana’s younger siblings. This too was agreed upon and they then discussed how they could ask Ahuahu.

Later that evening Ahuahu agreed with what was suggested. He loved both of his wives and he knew that all of them felt a guilty responsibility for Hinewai’s defection from village life and her banishment from Black Sands.

Preparations were made and after a few days they were gone. Hatiti had never been to the village where the Kakas call before, but Ahuahu had been when he discussed Moana’s wedding with Hauku and Torangi. For the sake of the children they broke the journey up and stayed overnight in the forest before reaching the village mid morning the next day.

They were greeted by the village children and were directed to Torangi and Hauku’s dwelling. Hauku recognised them both from Moana’s wedding over a year ago. She started to fuss over them coming, offering them some food and refreshment. They followed her in and saw that the children were playing on the floor with another woman. Hatiti shrieked with delight when she realised that it was Hinewai. She rushed to her and wrapped her up in her arms weeping uncontrollably. The children looked on with amazement at seeing Hinewai being hugged by a stranger. When the greetings were over Hauku ushered the children outside to play there while Hatiti and Hinewai could talk.

Ahuahu turned to Hauku and asked where Torangi was. Hauku indicated the forest and got one of the children to show him where as it was no great distance. He smiled at Hatiti who had turned towards him and nodded that she knew it would be best for her to be left alone with Hinewai.

Ahuahu merely said “We will leave just after the sun starts to fall”. He had mixed feelings about the reunion. Hatiti would be happy that Hinewai safe. But Hinewai could never be allowed back to Black Sands after she and Torangi had been banished. As he made his way into the forest Hauku followed him and called out “Ahuahu!”

He turned and she came up to him. “Ahuahu, you have not really seen or spoken to her. She has changed.” Ahuahu shook his head doubtfully.

Hauku continued “She knows she can never return to Black Springs but she will be safe here with us.”

“Is this what you want, Hauku?”

“Even though Torangi was content living here with me and the children he still grieved for her. She really has changed Ahuahu. She has been hurt really badly. She has not had love in her life. We will look after her.”

“She is still his wife too, Hauku. Can you bear that?”

Hauku nodded, “Torangi made me safe, he can make her safe too.”

“Well if Hatiti can stop grieving for her sister some good may come out of this.”

“Ahuahu, your family have made my life beautiful by looking after Moana and ensuring she married Paikea; who is such a fine young man. We all thank you for that. Now go and talk to Torangi, he will be pleased to see you.”

So Ahuahu went into the woods and stayed for an hour or two talking to Torangi, then returned to the village to collect Hatiti and the children for their journey home. He entered the hut and shared a meal and nodded at Hinewai who sat playing with Hatiti’s children. She nodded back at him with eyes that held back tears but she said not a word to him.

They set off back down to coast and talked of everything except Hinewai until they rested for the night. When the children were asleep Hatiti loosened her garments and said “Take me husband. I can relax again now. Hinewai has a second chance in life. I do not think she will make any more mistakes.”

Ahuahu wrapped her in his arms and murmured to her, “You will have much to tell Ahu and me. Tell us slowly that way all the hurt and fears of these last years can be gone forever.”

“How is it I have been so lucky in my life that there is so much between my life and hers?” She whispered as she dozed off in his arms. When Ahuahu could see she was asleep he got up rearranged their coverings and lay down now with the children safely asleep between them.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Separation

Cold, heat but no warmth
Break my heart a thousand ways
Cut, sever, do it

What is this torment?
Can I hazard sense in this?
My tears autumn leaves?

Where is the safety?
Endangered by mistrust
Was there ever love?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Hoata tells of when Ngaire became a leper (No. 56)

The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. (Missed an episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts.) 

Hoata came to see Ahu and Hatiti one afternoon to tell them that she had been told that the woman Ngaire had died at the Ngerengere settlement. Hatiti said “Why is it we are either crying with sadness or happiness these days?”

Ahu in her turn said, “Every time I saw her I wanted to hug her but I dared not. She gave much love and could always see the funny side to life despite her affliction. Did you know her before she became a leper, Hoata?”

Hoata shook her head. “No not really. I can remember being quite young and my mother warning me and my sister never to grow up like Ngaire. You see she loved life but she was such a naughty person too. Everything she did seemed to be so funny but bad too” At this Ahu nodded remembering the jokes that Ngaire told and of the funny things she said. “Was her leprosy blamed on her behaviour then?”

Hoata shook her head, “I do not think that our medicine man really thought that because many years ago there were several people that became lepers about the same time but Ngaire was the only one who misbehaved.”

“But how did she misbehave, Hoata? You have not mentioned this before.”

“I only heard from my mother and of course from Atahai who first took you in all those years ago when you fled with your baby when you first came to us. Well, did you know that Ngaire and Atahai were as thick as thieves? They were always playing games and tricks on the people in the village.”

“Why what did they do?”

“My mother told me as teenagers they would put one rotten fish amongst all the others drying on the racks. When it was found they had to throw the whole lot out. They were only teenagers but they should have known better.”

“When did Ngaire get leprosy then?”

At this Hoata, bent her head and whispered, “Ngaire was always after the boys and it is thought she may have made love to a man from another village that may have been afflicted. She couldn’t tell as she used to roam at night looking for fun. Atahai was not as bold as her but it was she that created such a fuss on the wedding night of a couple when she started scrabbling at the hut of the newly weds. The husband came out to see what was happening and Ngaire tripped him up and Atahai fell on him and started shouting that he was molesting her. His wife came running out and then Ngaire came up to “help” shouting why couldn’t she keep her husband in bed rather let him ravish her friend.”

Ahu laughed at this, but Hoata shook her head and went on. “There was a terrific row because the two of them were well known for their pranks. The old chief in those days called in the spirit man to quieten them both down. While he was examining them he discovered that Ngaire had the first signs of leprosy and she was sent to join the colony up there.” She pointed to the hills.

“What about Atahai, was she clean?”  asked Ahu. Hoata nodded in reply

“Well her parents were told they had to get her married as soon as possible which they did. Her husband was an older man who clearly was not up to Atahai’s desire and she was a widow within three years.” This made the other two women laugh.

“Not Atahai? But she was such a quiet and sensible woman, much respected in the village.” protested Ahu smiling.

“We all have a different story to tell, Ahu. Most of us quieten down eventually despite the wildness of our youth. She married again and had three children and I am quite sure she was quite content with her life despite its shaky start. And of course she didn’t have Ngaire urging her on anymore.”

“I wonder what they will say about the two of us. Will stories be told of Hatiti and me when we are long gone?”

Hoata looked up at Ahu than at Hatiti who had been working on a garment to wear and had remained silent. “Nobody really knows us do they? So much of our lives are hidden from the ones we love.”

Ahu nodded, as though she agreed, but in her heart she knew that in her marriage to Ahuahu and within their whole family they had no secrets. She could accept that they could and probably would all make mistakes in their lives but she treasured her family so much that she felt contented that this was always the case and forgivable.

Later when she and Hatiti were alone, Ahu asked her why she had been so quiet that afternoon.

“When Hoata came into our lives” Hatiti replied. “It was a burden lifted from us two girls, but we also saw that things would never be the same. Hoata is not my mother. She is Kamaka’s wife. I have got over grieving for my real mother but I have not got over the loss of Hinewai. My life now is so perfect and surrounded in love but I wanted her life to be happy too. How long will she last, trying to buy love with her body until nobody will even look at her?”

“Perhaps she has settled down now?”

Hatiti shook her head, “I am frightened that she will be hurt, really badly, as she seeks any attention. What she is searching is not love for but an end of her life that started when our mother Hinapouri died.”

“Do you think she will ever try to return here to see you or your father?”

“No, our happiness will be like a little death for her. We are surrounded by love and children and success. That would certainly kill her. She had a kind understanding man in Torangi. She didn’t want that, she wants to be a little girl again being hugged and sung to by her mother, what man can do that?”

With that Ahu burst into tears not knowing what to say.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Summer Secret

It was our secret
We push the tangle of leaves
To our own hideout

And there in the shade
First I touch your soft skin then
Kiss away your blushes

Feel the Summer warmth
And your face glows with desire
Heaven is ours now

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Moana's Wedding (No 55)

The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. (Missed an episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts.)

When Moana walked through the village now, there was no man that could say that she looked upon him. Even those that were closest to her; Ahuahu, Kamaka, even Paikea would not even be greeted by a smile when they saw her away from home, but only by a respectful nod of the head with her eyes discreetly lowered. She knew now that she would become Paikea’s wife though barely sixteen years old, and when she and Paikea were wed, she would be part of the family of the head man. All the work that Ahu and Hatiti had done to prepare her for this honour had been worth while. Other women in the village looked on her and wondered why she, a girl from another village, a daughter of a dead fisherman would be given such an honour.  She had of course a great understanding and wisdom beyond her years. Her playful childhood had been put aside and the head man could see that if his son were one day to be a leader he must have a wise and sensible woman to support him. Paikea’s father had for some time now seen how wise she was about village affairs and he knew that for the most part this had been developed by both Ahuahu and his wives. He knew too that that the gods were telling him that his own life was past its prime and that even if Paikea did not get appointed on the village council in the next year or so he would one day with Moana’s help

Of course within her home with Ahu’s family, Moana behaved as she had always done. She was part of the family and would laugh with Ahu and Hatiti and play with the children all the time learning what being a wife and mother would mean for her.

Paikea was quite frustrated, there was so little time he was allowed to be alone with Moana. Her young body was blooming and although they touched she knew she must let him go too far lest they disgrace their families. “Why cannot I eat the ripe fruit in front of me?” Paikea asked as he fondled her. She desperately wanted him too but she merely said “Would you have my mother see me with child when she comes to the wedding? Wait a little longer and let us see if the mountains shake on our wedding night.” She then traced her fingers over his chest and ran them down over his body whilst letting her oiled hair fall across him. He gasped with desire as he could feel her so close to him. She nibbled at his lips and cheeks and then laid her head on his chest and continued to run her hands over his body.

“Touch me again” he urged. But she shook her head flicking her oily hair across him.

“Do you not think that Ahu or Hatiti do not know you would have me if I let you? But I must be faithful both to them and your family who have said I must be regarded as a puhi, a maiden of rank and must be a virgin when I am married.” With that she sat up and rearranged her clothing. “Your father has decided on the day of the wedding. It is on the next full moon according to your mother, has he not told you?”

Paikea nodded sadly, that seemed so far ahead as he looked at his fingers and the number of days that meant seemed enormous. “The closer it gets the greater my need for you.”

Moana’s laughed as she said, “There is a chance you may not like me when you finally can possess me. What will you do then?”

Before he could answer, Ahu called out to them. “Paikea, we need to discuss the wedding plans with Moana’s mother. Come out here and let us tell you what is proposed.”

The young couple joined the others in the main room.

“Soon I will fetch Hauku and Moana’s brothers from their village. It is necessary for you to tell your father, Paikea, that that she will at the wedding. We are not Moana’s relations but we will be with her family, so there will many supporters for Moana at the feast. They will stay with us until you are married and move into your new home close to your father’s compound. When she is with us you must not come to our house. But stay with your family until you are wed.”

Paikea nodded sadly in reply. He loved being with Ahu and Ahuahu where he felt part of their family too; when he was married that would all change as Moana would be part of his family instead.

For everyone else the days passed quickly and Ahuahu made arrangements for Hauku to give two decorative carved wooden posts to Paikea’s family as a wedding gift that had been made in the village where the Kakas call. This had been done by a deal with Torangi, Hauku’s new husband. They were magnificent pieces that would stand either side of the chief’s dwelling and the carvings depicted the gods of the sea on one post and the gods of the land on the other. In addition there were many other gifts of wooden bowls and pieces of carved jade. All this had been secretly paid for by Ahuahu so Moana’s family would not seem to be poor.

On the day of the wedding feast, Ahu’s family all accompanied Hauku and her children to support her. Moana was dressed in a feather cloak and carried symbolic wooden carved weapons and her hair was dressed with feathers and she solemnly bowed her head as she was led in front of the meeting house. Paikea was also there standing waiting in front of the building. The holy man advised of her arrival, called out the ‘Te Karanga’, a summons for them to enter. As they did so a welcome song was sung by the women inside the meeting house. Moana glanced sideways and smiled at Paikea but he was so nervous he just nodded in reply. Once inside they knelt together in front of the priest who called out the vows they were to obey and uttered the blessing or “Te Manaakitanga”, he then nodded to them and they turned to each other and leaning forward to perform the “Hongi” or rubbing of noses to signify that they breathed the air, the same air given to man by the gods and would give life and support to each other and their children. The holy man then gave his blessing and with that Paikea’s father came up to them and gave Paikea the Korowai, a special cloak that had been made for the purpose for him to give to Moana, a signal of his love and that he would always protect her.

As he did this, Hauku retrieved the cloak that Moana had been wearing. Then as the main ceremony was now over a song of departure was sung and the wedding feast began. The head man looked across to Ahuahu and nodded his approval.

Then Ahu looked at Ahuahu and smiled at him as she remembered her own wedding day long ago when they had merely been told they were to marry. There had been no ceremony that day; she had just moved her possessions from her aunt’s house to the hut that Ahuahu lived in. As orphans they had been no importance.Who would have imagined that their lives would have turned out like this.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Without You

Please dear, stop, halt, cease
How is it has come this,
Us; a lovers tiff?

How could we differ?
We two who would always kiss
To mend all the hurt.

And if we do part
Who will touch you tenderly
And hold you so tight?

Who’ll care for you now?
When you fear or imagine
Me not by your side.

Spring was discovery
Summer was warm and so close,
Winter’s without you.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

The new babies are named (No 54)

The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. In this episode Kamaka with his tongue in his cheek wants to take his first grandson, only a few days old, fishing! (Missed an episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts.)


Ahu and his wives invited Kamaka and Hoata to have a meal with them so they could make the names of the new babies known. Moana was allowed to invite Paikea too and she was very pleased that he was given permission to attend. Kamaka was very glad he now had a grandson which he had particularly asked this of Ahuahu when Hatiti became his second wife.

All the children were very excited that there was so many people gathered in their home and there was much laughter until finally Kamaka said “What will you call your new children, Ahuahu?”

Ahuahu smiled at Kamaka and replied “Ahu and Hatiti have asked that their names be the ones they have chosen.” Not revealing that for all the other babies Ahu had given birth to she had named them as well. “I have agreed to this as the names mean so much to all of us including you Kamaka.”

“Hatiti’s baby was born first and she asked that his name be Rauora because she was saved from the tidal wave and was restored to you as a daughter and able to bear you your grandchildren.” Then added modestly, “It is also to thank me too because I was there.”

All the children clapped and then Hoata said “And your daughter Ahu, what have you both called her?”

Ahu shyly looked up from cuddling her new baby and nodded to Ahuahu to speak.

Ahuahu then continued “Ahu has chosen a name to show that our new baby binds us all of us together. We have named her Houhia and she is to remind all the children that we all belong to one another.

Kamaka nodded then said “That is all very well but how soon can I take Rauora fishing with me?” And everyone laughed.

All this time Paikea and Moana were sitting together and secretly linking and unlinking their fingers thinking no one could see them. Ahu beckoned Tangaroa to her and told him to talk to Paikea as he did not have anyone to talk to except Moana. So he went to talk to the two young lovers and Moana glanced up to look at Ahu. Ahu merely nodded to indicate they should talk to other people. Tangaroa though started the conversation asking Paikea about his family.

“Paikea, do you have sisters?”

“They are much older and have married. They are not in the village any more now they are married. One has gone far away beyond the Big River and the other is inland beyond the smoking mountain.”

“So you have not seen them for some time?”

Paikea replied “I have not seen them since they were married but my mother has been to see them both. The oldest sister Pania is with child so my mother will want to visit her again when the baby is born.”

Having broken the ice with Paikea, Tangaroa then suggested that Paikea come fishing with his father.

“Tangaroa” Paikea whispered “I am trying to get Moana to live with me not the other way around.”

“You could live here” Tangaroa insisted “There is plenty of room in Hatiti’s house.”

At this Moana giggled and shook her head. “One day Paikea will have a house built just for him and me, but we can visit each other’s houses now whenever we want. Do not worry Tangaroa, I will always be part of this family and we will live in Black Sands.”

“In any case Tangaroa I should wait for Ahuahu to ask me to go fishing,” said Paikea, “but who would help my father then?” 

Rauora  - Saved

Houhia - Together


Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Never was I really close to my brother

We were quite opposite to one another

Even train spotting when I was a teen

Cycling to stations he was still mean

Standing by a stations buffer

There really was no task tougher

Than to fend myself from blows and punches

Though we each had our own packed lunches.

Luckily this sibling rivalry was ended

When another school I attended

And grew away from his admonition

And his lack of true contrition

I found interests of my own to follow

And he was left alone to wallow

And so our ways did part asunder

And I finished up downunder

But still I yearn for youth and those days

Of transition as on steam trains I did gaze

And wonder whether in all our strife

There was some unity in our life

As we bathed in life’s long dream

All swirling in smoke and steam

Downunder  - Australia