Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Our secret world

We laugh as you douse my flame again

A battle long fought, well played

So many years of thrust and parry

Yet I always let you carry the day


We are not a matched couple

Once a month with naughty talk

A touch and shake of the head

And then a kiss of sweet goodbye


We go for a meal and laugh

With talk of life and nonsense

Drinking wine and me holding

One of your little fingers


We never validate our love

Why should we proclaim it?

It is there for all to know

This means just the two of us.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Being but a man

I have little discipline

And with no patience


Gazing as I do

In moments of sublime bliss

At unaware you


Quiet, heroic me

Know my limits but do steal

Pieces of your heart


As I smile at you

Despite the response in kind

I notice your tears


Would the prophets say

“Go, take this beauty and fly

Gently dry her eyes”


No, they would they say

“You are past this game old man,

Write it down instead”

Tui calls on Ahuahu (No. 86)

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



This saga running now for some time is set in pre-colonial New Zealand (Aotearoa) during Queen Victoria's reign, monarch of the expanding British Empire. In this chapter Ahuahu now head man of the village of Black Sands has been procrastinating over the future of his eldest daughter Hekehoru who wants to marry a man in the village, while trying to appease the colonists to ensure his village stays secure.




Tui and Hekehoru had been seeing each other for some time. Yet they had not married. Ahuahu had always told Hekehoru she should wait a little longer. Ahu grieved for her daughter Hekehoru as she knew she wanted to marry Tui and even she thought he would be a good husband but Ahuahu could not forget Tui’s elder brother Paikea and his treatment of Moana and his foolish opinions and decisions in his short life. Ahuahu considered himself to be a surrogate father to Moana and felt guilty that he had not prevented the outcome.

Tui loved Hekehoru tenderly and even other village council members thought he would be suitable to join them soon but Ahuahu was not convinced. Eventually Hekehoru spoke to Ahu.

“Help me Ahu, you are my mother, I am your elder daughter. I should be married. You know I have found the man to be my husband. You let me see him yet Ahuahu will not let me marry. Soon I shall surely bring his baby home. Please speak to Ahuahu for me.”

Later that night when Ahu and Ahuahu were together Ahu whispered to him. “It is time to let Hekehoru go. Tui is not Paikea, you know that. She weeps for him, they should be married and soon. Surely the trial you have put them through is over. He is sensible; he is faithful only to her. Please let him speak to you again.”

Ahuahu grunted, “Go to sleep Ahu, but I will tell Hekehoru to send Tui to me. But I will promise nothing.”

“Perhaps Hatiti and I will promise nothing either.” She replied.

Ahuahu grunted in reply “Let me think on it.”

The next morning before he went fishing Ahuahu spoke to Hekehoru. “Daughter you are very precious to me. You were born in the woods there” pointing to his left, “just up from the beach and I was there to see you take your first breath. I should not have been there but I was. I love all my children but with you I have that special bond. I will do anything to protect you but now I know it is time to let you go and it hurts me so much.”

“Why was I never told?” Hekehoru said as she burst into tears. She wrapped him in her arms hugging him tight.

“You are being told now. When is the best time to admit to breaking a tapu, Hekehoru? I have decided that this is the time for me. All my children are precious but with you it is different, the gods changed me that day. Send Tui to me after I have got back from fishing.”

Later that afternoon when Ahu returned Tui was waiting for him. Ahuahu looked him up and down and then said hearing the murmur of voices elsewhere in the whare. “We will talk in the meeting house there are too many ears in this house.” So they walked across to the village meeting house and then sat down together.

In the fading light of the afternoon Tui once again professed his love for Hekehoru. He promised to look after her and give as her many sons as she wanted. He would stay in the village, work hard and make her happy. He would even give Ahuahu some gifts that belonged to his father the old chief. Ahuahu merely nodded at all that Tui was saying. Then put up his hand for Tui to stop talking. “I need more, Tui.”

Tui looked around the meeting house and saw the old weapons and ornaments from years ago on the walls. He got up and seized a ceremonial club from the wall; it was a Toki Pou Tangata. This was weapon with an intricately carved handle and a greenstone blade affixed.

“This was a gift to my father Ahuahu. So you could say it is mine now as I am his only remaining son. It is my gift to you.” Here Tui paused then continued looking Ahuahu directly in his eyes, “If I ever I hurt Hekehoru you may kill me with it.”

There was silence for a few seconds then Tui continued “I will give up my life for her, I want none other than her.”

Ahuahu nodded, “Then she is yours. You may present me with this gift at the wedding ceremony. You need to give me nothing more.” He then leaned over held Tui by the shoulders and rubbed noses with him.

As they walked back out of the building Ahuahu said, “Arrange the wedding date with Ahu so that your sisters who live far away can come to the wedding with their families.” Then as an afterthought he said, “Come back with me now to tell Hekehoru and have a meal with us, but I expect it will be a noisy one with much woman’s talk.”

Tui nodded and said, “Ahuahu, I will not fail you.”

“Remember Tui how much Hekehoru means to me, I do not want to kill the man she loves, so do not test me.”

Read about Hekehoru's birth by clicking Hekehoru in the labels bar below.

Tapu - Taboo, forbidden.

Toki Pou Tangata - Intricately carved weapon with a greenstone blade


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Love and Loss

I ponder my life
All the hopes and the heartbreaks
With you by my side

Tears come easily
As those great years slip away
Heave away my soul

Joy springs back to prove
Children validate our love
Constant is my heart

Monday, 18 February 2013


She was beautiful

Raven hair, eyes that twinkled

So love at first sight


They flirted together

At work where he was her boss

Oh calamity!


Seduced by his charm

Ardour sprang like Spring’s blossoms

With heat yet to come


She planned the future

With joy brimming in her heart

Yet he was married


Her pain was intense

And the retribution swift

"I have told your wife"



Sunday, 17 February 2013

Nightmare babies

Light shining outside
Now it’s gone, the door is closed
I am on my own

Candlelight flickers
But that too will soon leave me
But never alone

They’re under the bed
Laughing, scuttling and hiding
They are real to me

Since birth they have been
My companions, hurt, naked
They told me their tale

They were but little
Children denied life, held back 
With no place to go

I have what they lack
They are not imaginary
But denied a chance

They never took root
Why can’t I see their faces
crying for a life?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Rapata's work at the mission is over (No. 85)

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.)

For a year or two Rapata the pakeha priest continued to work at the mission for the Ngerengere settlement and as he became older he was assisted and finally replaced by a younger priest Father Anaru who Rapata had described as just the ticket to replace him. Hinewai didn’t understand that but could see that his mind was wandering. He told Hinewai he would stay there as it was nearest place to home for him after spending so much his life far away from his place of birth. She knew of course that he just wanted to know that she was close by and she was happy that she was.

Every month or so she would visit and talk to him; telling him what was happening in the villages and with her family. He was nearly blind and as time went on she knew that it mattered not what she said, but merely that he knew she had been there. Then one day she received a message from the young priest Father Anaru at the mission to say that he had died.  

When she went up there she said, “Did he tell you that he wanted to be buried down at Black Sands?”

He shook his head, “Normally he would be buried here at the mission.”

“Some time ago, he asked me if he could be interred in our burial ground closer to the sea,” she said. “He asked me to get Ahuahu’s permission to do this.”

“And you have done this?”

Hinewai nodded, “He sees no reason why he should not be buried there. Ahuahu will say a poroporoaki or traditional farewell there.”

“But he should have Christian burial, Hinewai, he is a priest.”
“We will merely say goodbye to him. You do what you have to do here and we will do it our way at Black Sands.” Hinewai said.
Father Anaru thought about this and finally agreed that he would hold a funeral service at the mission then his body could be taken down to Black Springs for the burial.
When the arrangements had been made for the service the next day, Hinewai then set off down to Black Springs to talk to Ahuahu.
As soon as she had left the mission she was overcome with emotion and cried all the way down to the village.

When she got to Black Sands she headed straight for Ahuahu’s whare. Hatiti rushed up to her and saw that her face was covered with blood where she had cut her face as a show of mourning.

“What has happened, Hinewai, why did you do this?”
“Rapata is dead, Hatiti. I need to talk to Ahuahu.”
“He is at the meeting house; do you want me to fetch him?” Hatiti thought for while then continued, “No he should be back soon, let me wash your face.”
Just then Houhia came in and started to smile when she saw Hinewai then frowned when she could see what she had done. She knelt down in front of her and laid her head on her lap and hugged her.
Hatiti then got up to fetch some water and said to Houhia. “When I am cleaning Hinewai’s face, go and fetch your father. If you see Ahu tell her to come home too.”
Later Hinewai explained to Ahuahu what she had arranged with Father Aranu.
Ahuahu looked closely at Hinewai, shook his head but smiled and said, “You had planned this all along, hadn’t you? What if I do not agree?”
“You will agree, won’t you Ahuahu? You do not want me to be singing my tangihanga with the pakeha priest up at the mission do you? It is better I remember him in this village among our own people.”
Hatiti then spoke up “Hinewai, this is your village too, please come and live here again.” She then turned to Ahuahu, “She can return can’t she?”
Ahuahu nodded, “Hinewai has always known she could return here. I told her some years ago. And Torangi has no claim to her anymore. We will find somewhere for her to live.”
So after Father Aranu had held a service at the mission, Rapata’s body was brought down by the men of Black Sands to their burial ground and Hinewai sang her song of goodbye to the only man she had ever loved.

Aranu           - Andrew
Ngerengere         - Leper
Poroporoaki        - Farewell address
Tangihanga        - Mourning song
Whare              - House

Forgive the change of font size, Blogger is playing games with me! Spammers are on my tail too!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Don't leave me

Rampage in my heart

Tear it out and squeeze it tight

I am but your slave


Funny, that is love

Joy, cumbersome and heavy

Yet as light as air


Oh this morbid fear

Should I lose your quirky ways

Leaves me desolate


Let us stay this way

As the seasons come and go

Unique in our love

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Sporting heroes are an inspiration

                                              Atalanta and Hippomenes in their race

Isn’t it curious that the two words Inspiration and Perspiration are so similar, yet the first one implies an inbuilt ability to conjure up a solution from some innate knowledge whereas the other merely shows that hard work is the only answer to achieve a goal?

Posting regularly we hear of muses abandoning fellow writers who seek more conducive brains to rest in, rather than having to do all the work themselves or at least prodding the writer to come up with something and then snuggling into their mushy heads once again.

Wasn’t it that girl Atalanta in ancient Greece who having suffered a miserable childhood with a father that wanted a son was abandoned and brought up by bears, fought centaurs and boars and chose to excel at sport and became a fine runner, equal in fact to any man?

You would imagine that Atalanta would be pretty uncouth, as smelly as a bear and not the most desirable of girlfriends having been brought up this way; but not so. For some reason possibly to get hold of the franchise to exploit this maiden her father accepts her back and encourages her athleticism to the extent of laying down the rules for suitors to her hand.

To win this hairy, smelly, uncouth, maiden over, suitors would have to beat her in a foot race. Losers she decides would indeed be that by losing their lives as some apparently did. However one young man Hippomenes with a great desire for Atalanta despite her odoriferous background wants to win her but sees how unlikely that is so seeks Aphrodite’s help. She gives him three golden apples to tempt Atalanta with. He will have to throw them down to entice her to pick them up which is what you do if you have been brought up by smelly bears, abandoned then reconciled with your very rich father who only wanted a son and now is being unbearably cruel to all suitors regardless of their looks or potential…or so the story goes.

So they start running and clearly she is faster as of course she would be as he is toting three golden apples which presumably are very heavy. How he does this I can’t imagine as in ancient Greece you ran naked however whether he drops one or manages to throw it so she can spy it despite her concentrating on her running, I don’t know; but my guess is that someone in the crowd of onlookers tells her what is going on and she glances round and despite her father being as rich as Midas; she chases after it and picks it up. Meanwhile Hippomenes grabs the lead and slightly less encumbered with only two balls left sees her catching up again. So throws another gold ball possibly on a corner of the track so she goes chasing after the second gold ball heading in the opposite direction while he steams ahead again. This happens once more and she is the one that is now lumbered with balls and he wins by a whisker and wins the hairy, smelly, grotty maiden for himself.

Everybody rejoices and he marries Atalanta and even more unlikely stories are told about them later on.

Note: This is not a good story for children. Not because the characters are running around naked with people watching them but because this event may have been the start of cheating at sport for gain, albeit abetted by those in control of the sports people’s lives. Does this sound familiar?


Now you will want to know where the inspiration for this story came. Australia has just announced that there is widespread corruption in sport. Hello? I thought we knew this all along. Recently the Australian ABC News reported:

An Australian Crime Commission investigation has found widespread drug use in Australian professional sport, with some athletes being given substances not yet approved for human use.
The year-long investigation says organized criminal networks have been involved in distributing the drugs to athletes and support staff, including doctors and coaches.
In at least one case an entire team is believed to have been doped. 

So how about Hippomenes and Atalanta you ask? Well, getting a good look at him after the race she realizes that perhaps such a resourceful chap wouldn’t be a bad husband after all so they get wed but in their eagerness to get to bed completely forget to thank the gods for their help by which nothing could happen in those days. Zeus and Aphrodite are furious but luckily recognizing the couples love for each other they are placed in a constellation in the sky for all time. If you believe all that you must be on drugs too!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Hoku returns to Rocky Outcrop (No. 84)

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.)

Hoku didn’t want to return to Rocky Outcrop and her family because she had fallen in love. Ahu wanted to talk to her so she went into the room where the girls slept, shooed out the younger ones who were there and asked Hoku if she could talk to her. Hoku nodded sadly.

As they sat together, Ahu fussed with Hoku’s hair and Hoku cried as Ahu talked gently to her. “Hoku, you must feel glad that it is safe to go back to Rocky Outcrop and your family are well. This is good news.”

Hoku’s sad eyes looked up at Ahu and she whispered “You do not understand. I want to stay here. Everything here is beautiful. You treat me as though I was your precious daughter but give me freedom I have never had before.” 

“I do understand, Hoku. You do fit in well. You play with the young ones, walk around the village as though you belong here, make friends with our family as well as talk to the women in the village and…” here Ahu paused “We are happy that you look at Aotea and he at you.”

Tears came to Hoku’s eyes again. “Ahu, he ignored me when I first came and that made me cross but in the end I realised that he did the right thing and now I want to stay for him.” She paused then said, “Should I have said that to you?”

“You have learned much, Hoku. That you can speak to me in this way shows you are happy here and we are with you. However, you now have a difficult task now of telling your father. He was wise to speak of this when you were in danger as you can now see the wisdom of his words.” Hoku looked at Ahu puzzled as Ahu continued. “If the danger is past your father may forget the idea that you would be safe here and start making other plans.”

Hoku looked at Ahu in horror, “You mean he may change his mind and give me to someone else in a pact with another village?”

“I did not say that, but it was the first thought that came in your mind, wasn’t it? When you return why not tell him that as the country between Black Sands and Rocky Outcrop is not wanted by the pakeha it should be made a safe haven for both our villages for all time.”

“You mean that a marriage pact between our villages would strengthen us both and the village should be rebuilt?”

Ahu nodded “If your father approves of the marriage perhaps with help the two of you rebuild the village at Gannet Island and settle there.”

“But I like it here, Ahu.”

“No, you will like it wherever Aotea is, Hoku. I know that you love him your eyes are illuminated when you are with him. Be strong and show your father that you are more than a woman.”

“Moana was right, Ahu, I can learn much from you.”

When Ahuahu returned Hoku to Rocky Outcrop he took Aotea and his sister Hekehoru with him to accompany Hoku.

Hekehoru had not spoken a lot to Hoku and the journey together allowed them to get to know each other better. It was then that Hoku learned of Moana’s first marriage to the now dead Paikea and of the problems Hekehoru had in persuading Ahuahu to let her marry Tui, Paikea’s brother.

As they passed through the old Gannet Island village they saw a few fishermen on the shore and this time Hoku took note of the surrounds and asked Ahuahu about the fresh water supply and if the Fern Gully settlement was still there.

“Have you been talking to Ahu?” asked Ahuahu with a smile. Hoku nodded as he went on “There are always a few families that exist by themselves in this country. They trouble no one yet they do not prosper for when times are difficult no one knows and they receive no help. I am surprised those that remain did not come and take over the village here where the beach is much closer but they could have been scared of the fishermen from Rocky Outcrop. They are people to be reckoned with,” he joked. 

“I was scared of them until I met, Hoku,” laughed Aotea. With that Hoku then playfully slapped at Aotea.

They reached Rocky Outcrop in the late afternoon and went up to the chief’s house. They were welcomed in by chief Ruaimoko, Hoku’s father, who formally rubbed noses with everyone but touched the face of Hoku as well.

“Good, good, we will talk after our meal.” So the families ate together and there was much talk and Hoku was asked to tell her family about the Black Sands village. Later Ahuahu and Aotea spoke alone with Ruaimoko.

“I have learned from my men that they did not see your people fish at Gannet Island, Ahuahu.”

“No, I thought we had better earn that privilege before we used it.”

Ruaimoko grunted, “The trouble with you Ahuahu, you build up credit unawares. Hoku is back safely and I notice that she is not too happy about it meaning you made her welcome, yet you have received nothing from me.”

“You have always said that I was a plain speaker,” Ahuahu replied. “Yes, Hoku was happy with us, she enjoyed our way of life but not the smell of the Hot Springs” Ahuahu laughed as he said that. “For us little changes, but we now have a pakeha priest looking after the ngerengere people and all is quiet with the pakeha. We do not complain. But you have not told us of the conflict you expected here.”

Ruaimoko did not answer at first but changed the subject and spoke to Aotea. “You have not said much, Aotea, either now or at the meal. What do you think of this country of your mother’s family?”

Aotea then spoke for the first time. “I have been told it is better to listen today and speak tomorrow. But surely it is better for a person to be known for what they do than where they come from.”

This brought a smile to Ruaimoko’s face, “Ahuahu you have a wise son.” He then continued “Here as in every village there is always someone that knows everything. Did you know that Ahu’s mother came from here?”

“Yes,” Ahuahu replied. “Ahu told us and it is no secret, all the children know of this. It is their story now...and Aotea is also correct in what he said.”

“Ahuahu, there is no conflict here now or for a long time. Any threat there may have been has gone except that is, from the pakeha.”

“Ruaimoko, you have put us all through a trial then.” Ahuahu said. “Hoku must be very precious for you to test us all in this way. What would you have done if she had hated it at Black Sands or was harmed in any way?”

“And did Hoku know of this?” butted in Aotea crossly.

“Your eyes betray you, son,” smiled the chief, “Calm down, she is innocent and her eyes betrayed her too when she returned. You are clearly the right husband for her.”

Ahuahu started laughing. “You went to a lot of effort to achieve something that was inevitable.” At this Ruaimoko laughed too and slapped Aotea on the shoulders and hugged him. “Welcome to my family Aotea, we will tell Hoku in the morning.”

All Aotea could only think of was of all the trouble he had taken to win Hoku’s affection weeks ago yet her father had planned it all along. It was him who had wanted her to marry into Ahuahu’s family all along.

I love the sea

I love walking along deserted beaches where the ocean talks to you alone and the sea birds swoop down to join you and bathe in the shallows keeping an eye on you as well as their companions especially in the breeding season when their exaggerated courting actions will include opening their beaks wide and raising their plumes to impress the lucky lady.

And so it was this late spring day where alone, free from owners with dogs and balls I had found a resting place and sat quietly drinking from a bottle of water and perusing the endless push and pull of the sea trying to make it’s mind up whether it should tease me with an advance or hurry back to keep her distance.

Far off I could see her in a more boisterous mood as she roared angrily over the coral reef well out of my reach. In the sky wheeling and playing together there were a pair of birds swooping low now over the spume, then up high again winging their way to heaven in a dance of love for the other and for life so I thought. Suddenly one dived into the sea and caught a fish and returned to his mate and their romantic play continued as the fish was passed from one to the other.

It was then that I noticed they each had a black plume on their heads and I nodded approval, Crested Terns I surmised. Not rare but a welcome sight none-the-less. I waved foolishly to acknowledge that I had seen them.  “Not another human” they would no doubt think and ignore such as incident as most of our actions probably were.

I wandered on again facing into the breeze knowing that unwittingly she too would help me on my way back later. The crabs scuttled in and out the water tempted by rotting titbits at the seas edge and shellfish would announce their presence spitting water from their shell. Despite the dryness of the weather, being so close the waves the sea’s constant watch on me meant the air was full of moisture.

She had finally come to terms with me being by her side now and somehow seemed to accept that my love of her would mean I would tell of the wonderful thread of life that existed in and around her and how much that meant to me.

And so I have.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Her eyes

Oft I am tempted
To fall in love with a girl
A taste of passion

It’s a fault of mine
Sometimes it may well backfire
It is only a game

Whether in the street
Drinking a cup of coffee
Sitting on the bus

Names I never know
Just a glance and I am caught
In their charming net

But once in a while
They might return the favour
It may be a smile

More often her eyes
Play with me and sparkle then
Hold me in her gaze

I dare to say “Your eyes”
Embarrassed, a tiny smile
Caught, we turn away

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Getting Old

The mirror’s my enemy now                        

I can charm, and I can still dance

I have dreams too in abundance 

Like the hair that grows out my ears

Words they still come to me apace

And lines - they’re written on my face                    

But those now, they will never go                

The mirror is my enemy now.                                  


The mirror’s my enemy now                        

Slow, casual and so assured                                  

I must be in case I am floored                                 

False confidence and smiling too                                      

As I don’t know what else to do                              

I used to know each turn of phase                                           

But now they leave me in a daze                

The mirror’s my enemy now