auckland triptych I so these palsied pākehā in name tag munitions stroll down queen street, every one in six long-sleeve checkered, buttoned down & shades stuck like pelican eyes adrift their balding crowns: their numbers edging towards extinction but still clasping the reins – II multiethnic multicultural polyglottal; various hues of brown, their black-haired frenzy pirouetting the same parade ground, as student horde & shop assistant army, pumping the international foodhalls in fads never fed before; calling for a curry, cavorting for a kebab, here to stay in mass silent limbo. III so the P.I. guys now hold thin cardboard cups as they squat in sequence down the w i d e pavements, eyes trying to grasp yours’ In guilt – ‘any spare change’ indeed – while ngā Māori, the inaugural, still clean the bins & tote their w a y w a r d tots. I’m sort of wondering why their gaps never go, how the classes neverclose & how now, there’s so many new kids on the block.
Vaughan Rapatahana (Te Ātiawa) commutes between homes in Hong Kong, Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand. He is widely published across several genre in both his main languages, te reo Māori and English and his work has been translated into Bahasa Malaysia, Italian, French, Mandarin.