Wednesday, 29 August 2012

It’s Over

Sophie walked fast now
Sure that this was the last time
She was to be free

He had not fulfilled
Her romantic dream of love
Expectations dashed

Waiting at the park
Yet no flowers in his hands
He looked so sad now

Before she could say
Their romance was at an end
His face said it all

“Sophie it is over
You are not the right one for me
And now you are free”

She couldn’t even say
“But I was going say that”
Sophie had been ditched

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Talks at Rocky Outcrop (No. 61)

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.)

Ahuahu and Tangaroa set off for Rocky Outcrop the following day. Ahu was very apprehensive that Ahuahu had taken Tangaroa but he assured her it was friendlier to do that than risk Paikea saying something out of turn. They reached the little village of Gannet Island where the Rocky outcrop man had established a little colony of fishers to provide for the whole community further north. As Ahuahu passed it he told Tangaroa of the fishing there and pointed out the masses of birds circling the island. He told him that was where Tangaroa had been born and pointed the old grove of trees which used to be the women’s special place.  They rested there for a while and Tangaroa explored the old village trying to imagine their family there Then they went further north and Ahuahu told of the fighting between the two settlements that had persuaded Ahu to leave with Tangaroa as a baby to a safer place to bring him up. Tangaroa nodded at all this. And before long they could see the high cliffs that gave the settlement the name of Rocky Outcrop. They announced their arrival and were welcomed into the meeting house.

 “I have been expecting you” said the chief. “Who would they send when they smell the pakeha and get reports of their presence? It could only be you that could talk straight with us. Is this your son I see, not the Head man’s? You must want something.”

Ahuahu laughed, “We got on well the last time we met and I can see we will this time too. Tangaroa here is indeed my son. So when you talk to me you are talking to just one person not anyone else from our village. You may have news that I need to relay myself and not have it confused with another man’s interpretation.”

At this the chief laughed. “Let us eat and drink together and it matters not whether Tangaroa stays with us or talks with my children. No, better that he stay with us he has such a wise look, he really might find something out from them.” He roared with laughter.

“And as he is not yet ready to look at your daughters, perhaps next time he comes he will pick one out.”

The Chief smiled “I like you, Ahuahu. But now let us talk seriously.”

Ahuahu nodded, “It is obvious that the Pakeha are coming more and more to our shores but we do not see much of them at Black Sands. They clearly want to trade as we hear of them landing on our shores.” Here Ahuahu paused to look at the chief then went on. “They will want access to deep harbours and river estuaries. They will want fresh supplies of fruit and birds and may even want our timber and clothing. We have never seen a pakeha woman, so they may even want our women too if they have come from far away. What can they give us in return? Do we really need metal spikes and shiny objects?”

As Ahuahu was talking the chief from Rocky Outcrop was nodding his head but saying nothing.

Ahuahu continued “We know of their weapon which explodes. One was fired at us many years ago when we first encountered them on our beach. If any villages obtain these weapons it will not be long before we will be fighting each other rather than the pakeha.” He did not use the word musket lest he give too much knowledge away.

The chief looked at Ahuahu grimly “All what you say is true. In fact it is worse there are some villages further north that have allowed the pakeha to use their land. They want to live here, bring their wives, build their own whare and grow vegetables.” At this he laughed. “But why do you speak of this now? Why have you come today?”

“Simply this,” Ahuahu replied, “We need your protection.”

“You are too far away for us to protect you.”

“We have some knowledge of these weapons.”

There was a slight hesitation before the reply “You do not have them yet you know of them. But what do you know of them?”

“They are frightening weapons, explode and if pointed at a person can kill them easily from far off. But they have a weakness.”

Here the chief laughed and shook his head. “What weakness is that?”

“We will trade this weakness with you…for protection,” replied Ahuahu.

“Who do you want protection from?”

“Other villages that have the weapons that look on us with envy,” Ahuahu replied.

The chief nodded, thought for a moment then said, “We will protect you.” He then turned to Tangaroa. “Go talk to my sons now while I speak privately to your father.” Tangaroa turned and looked at Ahuahu, who nodded for him to do go.

“Yes we do have Muskets Ahuahu, but you knew that already didn’t you? I will also tell you who you fear too. It is the men from Big River; they tend to act without reason.”

Ahuahu smiled grimly and nodded, then spoke with the chief for another hour and went through what he had learned from Hinewai. The Muskets were effective but slow to prepare for firing and took even longer to reload, prime and fire again. If the bearer of a traditional weapon had not been hit in the first shot the shooter could be easily overpowered and killed and his musket taken from him.”

The chief bent his head toward Ahuahu, “What do you suggest then?”

“Do not use the weapon openly but seek cover before it is fired and have a man with traditional weapons by the side of the man with the musket.”

The Chief nodded “Why don’t you come to live here? I like the way you work things out.”

Ahuahu shook his head smiling.

“I knew you would not.” Said the chief, “But tell us if you receive threats from Big River and we will help you. Now let us see what our sons have been up to.”

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Flower of my life

I love you so much
You excite all my senses
Your eyes say it all

Lips tempt and amuse
Your touch electrifies me
I melt in your arms

Scent inflames my heart
You, the flower of my life
Our love is secure

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Pakeha want to settle (No. 60)

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.)

Ahuahu reported as much of his conversation with Hinewai to the village council as he thought appropriate and informed them of the pakeha visiting settlements around them and trading their goods for supplies. He also told of some villages that had received muskets in exchange for being able to camp on their land near safe anchorage for their boats and to build their own huts and grow their own vegetables.

“We may not trust the men from Rocky Outcrop but they are the only ones that we can talk to, that are strong enough to protect us.” He said. At this there was great murmuring of dissatisfaction from some of the members of the council.”

“If they do not bother us why should we bother them,” said Rapata an older member of the council.

Ahuahu shook his head in unbelief. “Who are you talking of, the men from Rocky outcrop or the pakeha? The men from Rocky outcrop do not concern themselves with us because we have nothing they want. We make them welcome when they come and offer them the use of the hot springs, but they do not come to see us because we are no threat to them. If you are talking of the pakeha that is another problem; they already are trading with our northern neighbours, soon they may trade with Big River to the south and beyond if they do not do so already. The problem is, what are they are trading and what is being giving them in return? When villages have muskets they will become powerful and settle old scores with their neighbours because they will be stronger. When the pakeha set up camp they will steal or trade away our possessions, our women, our children perhaps. They will fish in our waters; they will cut down our trees and may even defecate outside your whare Rapata. Do you want that? They will change our way of life for a few plants and pigs and muskets. Our life will not be better for them coming but poorer.”

At this the head man held up his hand. “Enough, Ahuahu, enough! Life is changing all the time but we need to talk to the men from Rocky Outcrop. Will you go Rapata? “

Rapata shook his head, “I speak with my hands not with my head. Do not send me,” and he turned his face aside.

“Ahuahu, it must be you again. Will you go?”

“Yes, I will go, but I go with empty hands. Will they talk to me? All I can do is ask for their protection. Already I know their response…” The rest of the village council looked at him not understanding what he meant.

“They will want us to support them if they have to combat the pakeha or their neighbours. Is that what you want?”

The Head man nodded his head sadly, “This is the outcome that will surely be the case. We had better prepare our weapons.”

“Will you take Paikea, Ahuahu?” 

“Not this time, let him enjoy Moana, it’s time they gave you a grandchild. I will take Tangaroa. No man would take his son if he is in enmity with his host.”

“Thank the gods that I have you sitting with me, Ahuahu.” He whispered, “Paikea needs Moana’s head on his shoulders, she also speaks this way.”

“For a woman she sees much” agreed Ahuahu.

That night after all the children were asleep even Tangaroa who was so excited to know that he would accompany his father to Rocky Outcrop the next day, Ahuahu then spoke to his wives. “Tonight I will hold on to you both. I think that in going to Rocky Outcrop tomorrow things will change forever.”

Hatiti glanced at Ahu and looked at her questioning her with her eyes. Ahu in turn merely smiled and said to him “You want to feel us both holding you because you want to remember us together whatever happens after you meet the men from Rocky Outcrop and you want to favour neither one of us tonight.”

“Happiness is a fleeting gift.” He said nodding. “Tangaroa and I are in no danger and will return of course but I know not what this will mean to our village. This is a time that may mean much change to our lives, many will see it as a time of plenty but  I can see it will be a time of drought and much sadness. Holding you both tonight will always remind me how happy I have been. Not being in enmity with Rocky Outcrop as we are now is much different from having a pact to assist each other in war.”

Pakeha - White men, Foreigners

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Scent Lingers

Look in the mirror
There’s nobody to check now
You, me or each other

How can I beat this?
You relied on me each day
But now you have gone

It is the pressure
And the sadness of parting
Unbearable loss

We met in the spring
Wed in that glorious summer
But loss does not end

You still have substance
And you still call out to me
Your scent lingers on

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Kamaka and Hinewai (No 59)

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.)

Secretly Ahuahu asked Moana and Paikea to visit her mother and brothers at the village where the Kaka calls and he sent Tangaroa with them telling his wives, “That is so people will think that we want Tangaroa to know more about life than fishing” but in reality it was so there would be no suspicion that he was delivering a message to Hinewai that Kamaka and he would see her again.

Moana told him after her visit that Hinewai was completely unaware that so much had happened at Black Sands since her banishment. When Hinewai looked on Paikea she was filled with great sorrow that she could not have made a marriage such as Moana had.

When Hinewai was alone with Tangaroa she could see Ahuahu in him. It was to his surprise that as they rubbed noses, she wrapped him in her arms as though he were still a little boy.

It was then when he was alone with Hinewai he said “I have a message for you”. She nodded in reply but not letting go of him.

“Ahuahu will bring your father Kamaka to visit you soon.” He then whispered as her eyes lit up, “Ahuahu my father wishes to discuss only the pakeha with you. He said you do not need to talk of the hurt you have suffered to anyone.”

“Do you know what he means, Tangaroa?”

Tangaroa shook his head. Hinewai then bent forward and said “I understand, it will be good to see my father and Ahuahu again.”

"Why did you hold me so, Hinewai?" Tangaroa asked. 

Hinewai smiled at him, "Ahu and Ahuahu have sent you as a lucky talisman to tell me that they have forgotten the past, they have forgiven me by sending someone very precious to talk to me."

Later back at Black Sands Kamaka was overjoyed when he heard that he would see his younger daughter Hinewai and he had difficulty in remaining calm as he and Ahuahu made their way to the village in the forest a few days later.

They were greeted as usual by Hauku’s children who fetched her and she was pleased once again to have visitors from the coast. Kamaka gave her a basket of fish and thanked her for looking after Hinewai.

With that Hinewai emerged from the hut, holding Hauku’s youngest child on her hip. Delighted that they had arrived she immediately put the child down and greeted her father Kamaka. “Come in we must talk” she said and then turning to Ahuahu greeted him “Thank you Ahuahu.”

With that Ahuahu nodded his head smiling and approached her and rubbed noses with her. “Go talk with your father and I will speak with you later myself”.

Hauku then said to Ahuahu, “It was good to see Moana and Paikea here we are so proud of her”.

“She is very strong, Hauku” then after a pause Ahuahu continued, “And wise too. There is much Paikea can learn from her”.

At this Hauku looked at him quizzically. “I do not understand”.

“She has understanding beyond her years, his father hopes some will rub off on Paikea.” He said with a smile. Hauku smiled too but uncertainly.

Later when Ahuahu spoke to Hinewai she confirmed that the northern villages had been trading weapons with the pakeha.

“Do they now have the stick that explodes, Hinewai?”

She nodded, “It is called a musket, Ahuahu.”

Muss kett! Do many villages have them?”

Hinewai nodded doubtfully, “A few yes, but they have traded many other things.”

Ahuahu’s heart fell, not more to change to their way of life he thought. Hinewai saw his face and smiled “No, no this is good, it is called potato. It is easier to grow than our kumara which men have to help us with, but any woman can grow potatoes and they are good to eat.”

They talked more of the pakeha and which villages might have weapons. At last Ahuahu had to ask outright “Hinewai, does Rocky Outcrop have the muss kett?

Hinewai smiled at the way he said the word and nodded, “How is it that Black Sands have not heard of all this, Ahuahu? Has life really gone on just as it used to be there?”

“Yes, Hinewai, We are not important. We fish and try to upset no one and we have the hot springs to enjoy, but all this will not last long, I can see that. This village too is isolated like us and it is safe for you now. But now I have a hard task in telling our village council of these things that are happening.  It is lucky we do no have any arguments with Rocky Outcrop.”

“Ahuahu you must forgive me for what I did in the past,”

“That is all over now, Hinewai. The gods turned away when you were being hurt, and we did too, I should apologise to you. You are with us again now and everyone is thankful.” 

She came up close to Ahuahu to talk to him, ”I must tell you more about the muskets…” and her words were so quiet that no one else could hear her whisper as she spoke to him.

After she had finished talking Ahuahu looked around for Kamaka, “We will return to Black Sands when you are ready, I must speak with our village council.” With that he reached out and touched her hand. “Be safe now, Hinewai.”

Kamaka nodded sadly he looked at Hinewai with love, he had found his daughter again but seeing her and Ahuahu speak he knew that their way of life was changing too even though he did not understand what she had said.

After they had gone Hinewai cried tears that did not stop until she remembered him touching her hand, he really had forgiven her.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

First Date

I love your brown skin
Those lips so ready to kiss
You touch, I crumble

Now on our first date
I'm not uneasy anymore
drawn to your dark eyes

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Hatiti talks of Hinewai (no. 58)

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.)

Over the following week, Hatiti slowly told them what had happened to Hinewai. Often she would find it difficult especially when she recounted the beatings and cruelty that she had endured as she wandered all over the north island of Aotearoa trying to find someone other than herself.

Although they tried not to prompt her at one point Ahuahu said “Why did she return to Torangi and how did she find him?”

Hatiti bowed her head and whispered that Hinewai had been given away to the pakeha men who had settled on the coast to catch seals and whales. Ahu and Ahuahu looked at Hatiti with amazement.

“She has been with the pakeha?” cried Ahu.

Ahuahu shook his head sadly, “Hatiti why did they not kill her?”

Hatiti could not look up and face them. But weeping openly whispered that she had been traded away to them along with foodstuff and some feather garments and tapa cloth.

Ahu rocked with grief at the news. “How did she escape, will they not come looking for her?”

Hatiti shook her head, “We think they are ugly and all look the same. They probably think the same of us. She was not wanted for her face and hair but only to make up for them not having their own women here.”

“How could she, with the pakeha?” moaned Ahu. 

Meanwhile Ahuahu was thinking hard. This was not good news at all. He wondered whether to ask outright or speak to Hatiti privately but this was no time for finesse. “Hatiti, I must ask you this. What did the pakeha give the men from the north in exchange for the food, the clothing and Hinewai?”

Hatiti at once realised that this was a serious matter for their people and her face was filled with horror. “Ahuahu, I am frightened now. I do not know exactly as Hinewai didn’t make mention of everything.” She paused, thinking back to her conversation with Hinewai, and then went on. “The men from the north received some metal spikes called nails, and some shiny metal that you can see your face in…” She paused there then grabbed hold of Ahuahu hand. “Ahuahu, I am sorry I should have told you straight away that they now have some metal weapons for cutting.”

“They are called swords, Hatiti. They are used for killing.” He then asked again, “She did not mention the banging stick that explodes, did she? The men from the north don’t have them, do they?” 

Once again Hatiti shook her head, “Would Hinewai know? She was just a cooking pot for them to trade. It would probably not be wise to tell of this openly, husband.” Ahuahu smiled grimly at her and said “You are right if they did have them they would boast to no-one.”

He then said he had better discuss this with the head man. “We think we have a good relationship with the men from Rocky Outcrop now but if pakeha weapons are being traded along the coast there will surely be more fighting. If some of our neighbours trade or steal for the sticks that explode we will have much trouble indeed.”

Ahu then looked up, “What will you do, Ahuahu?”

“It will be wise to report this to the village council then I must go up to see Hinewai and speak to her myself. But this time I will take Kamaka. He will want to see his daughter Hinewai to see that she is safe but I shall not tell him all that has happened to her. Perhaps we can get a message to her before then that I need to know only about the trading and nothing else.”

Hatiti nodded in agreement. She told Ahu later that she was so pleased to have Hinewai back home and safe with Torangi and Hauku. Hinewai said that she was just too tired out to think about wandering off again to search for what she could not find. Hatiti now saw there were deeper implications for their way of life in Aotearoa with the Pakeha determined to use their land for themselves.

“How is she really, Hatiti?” asked Ahu.

“She seems much older than me now: she is clearly wiser and wants to start life anew. She will be happy to talk to the trees in the forest there and play with Hauku’s children and just to ask forgiveness of Torangi who is still her husband. I think she will be pleased to see our father Kamaka. But I have no idea what they will talk about. When I was with her I just combed her hair and cried because I have my sister back. She talked and I listened, I did not ask anything of her. She is safe now.”

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Laugh with Joy

I laugh with joy that
Someone so beautiful should
Comes now to join me

As I touch your face
Your eyes show your emotion
In loving me too

We will not falter
On our joyful walk through life
Bound ever in love