blackmail press 21
Helen Tionisio
New Zealand

crossed cultures - special issue
New Zealand Made

Made in N.Z
We are
That our elders
Said to sow
Educate and grow
Out there
Across the seas
Disperse the seeds
Far and wide
But make sure
They come back
When they’re nice and
Our coconuts
Made in N.Z

We’re coconuts
Made in N.Z
It’s nice to
Have two homes
Coconuts made in N.Z
Urban flavoured niu
Freshly grown

Great Kanava Tree
In memory of Tioni Vulu

Great Kanava Tree
Strong and tall
Your branches reached out to gather us
Your leaves stretched out to talk to us
Strength and solace 
Warmth and shade
In the heat of challenge
We heard you say
“Press on
“push hard”
“never give up”

Great Kanava Tree
thick with rough glory
Deep are your roots in soil
Weathered many storms, cyclones,
Hurricanes and beautiful days
and there you stood


Great Kanava Tree
Such life
Welcomed friend or foe
Plenty of it surrounded you and burrowed in you
Lalo Kanava we would sit and talk
And exchange ideas
Kanava would encourage you
And urge you
to go forth
And take your place
Like it had
under the sun
And on this land

Great Kanava Tree
has now fallen
But even now we take heart
As it lays down where we use to sit under shade
Lets make a canoe
Strong and wide and smooth

And with its branches
Lets make wood for the sail
And paddles
And the rest we will use to extend the falefono

Great kanava tree fallen
Now in it’s higher calling
Truly serves its purpose
A mighty vaka voyageur
On the blue abyss
That he never feared
but kept as friend…
kept kanava alive

Great Kanava Tree
Now reflects sky

Featured Artist Fiona Holding