blackmail press 35
Kani Pōtiki Te Manukura
Ngati Tūhoe

Taipari O Maraea - Penny Howard
hunter/gatherer/grower/cook.  writes for the spaces between those pursuits as part of a life lived in quiet rebellion. priorly published works of academia  & fiction (as if these were different things) under a variety of nom de guerre in periodicals now defunct or otherwise irrelevant.
toitū te whenua (song for Hape)

e te matua
and even though i know
you hate to hear me say it
e te ranatira,
the pressure of your tears
when you speak of smart machines
and dumb wo/men
the flesh and the steel married
singular in purpose
coming to rip the golden belly of Kaimanawa
tear out the silvered tongue of Ngā Ruahine
steal the leaden heart of Te Kaweka
it bows my head
to the majestic mountain of your sorrow
and the horror of lofty slopes laid low
the rivers a toxic flow

on my feet asking
may I tell you a story?
a story sad in general
but joyous in the specifics
with no end yet in sight

well, my kuia
Te Manukura Hokina
was raised up Ruātoki hearty
smuggled through ngahere
and settled in Kahungunu country
i was raised up Ruataniwha style
bathing in the waters of the Waipawa
whose tokatoka still turn
in the rivers of my imagination,
taking leaps of faith falling off Maraetōtara
into the cool embrace of Haumoana,
chasing koura while impossible dreams
cross the sands of Aramoana
to stand True in the shadow of

i tell you
these places sing a song of me
and i of them
from the sea, to the mountains, to the rivers
and back again
my tears flow hot with resolve
over a bed of that mysterious substance
which causes people to journey hard
to the ends of the land
beyond the very limits of their selves

e te matua, ranatira
i have not much with which to salve your pain
my reserves of rage
the spare tanks of hatred
stockpiled desire for vengeance upon Them
who despoil our taona
were burnt up in my

in addition to whatever else I can scratch up on the day
may i offer
troublesome mouth hitched to vicious tongue,
two hands worn but with much mischief left
a fine collection of monkey wrenches

and most important of all

the bottomless deep abiding love I have yet
for the lands seas skies of my childhood
a pōhatu to be placed between
the mountains, the rivers, the sea
and dumb wo/men with smart machines
their dreams fed fat on greed

“whatunaronaro te tanata, toitū te whenua”

what other choice is there
for us
but to believe
we are responsible
for making it true

ngā ariā

sitting on wet grass
watching kāhu
their mating flight all soaring high
plummeting almost as one
soaring high
with the same grace
the hopes & dreams of the iwi
against a backdrop of Uenuku
to earth
out of looming black clouds
whilst Prince belts out Purple Rain
and Whaitiri replies with throaty snarl
a chorus of dogs on backing vocals

soon i will join in
sing out my happiness
dyed a sorrowed blue
with the pūmoana
that hangs behind the door
of my home heart land
fill sky with the clarity
of a single note
held to the end of my lungs

for now though
in this moment
i’m replete with possibilities
the responsibilities
entailed by land returned
desperate to avoid meaning
that thing we are condemned to
but all these portentous tohu
winking & making eyes at each other
across the time space continuum
are making it hard
to just be

i think i will run
away from myself
across fields
up this kahukura
and into black clouds
to become
pure motion itself
without thought
or care

ka whaka-ariā au i ahau

(ki Taunga Kererū
ko te rā tekau mā tahi o Mahuru, 2012)