Sunday, 22 July 2018

"To a Maori Figure Cast in Bronze ... "






This Hone Tuwhare poem [read here by the poet] seems strangely topical: the longing of a larger-than-life statue (by Molly McAlister) of a Maori warrior, planted at the foot of Queen St to greet tourists and stray passersby but who remains "hollow inside/with longing for the marae on / the cliff at Kohimarama, where you can watch the ships / come in curling their white moustaches ...

TO A MAORI FIGURE CAST IN BRONZE OUTSIDE THE CHIEF POST OFFICE, AUCKLAND by Hone Tuwhare

I hate being stuck up here, glaciated, hard all over
and with my guts removed: my old lady is not going
to like it

I’ve seen more efficient scare-crows in seed-bed
nurseries. Hell, I can’t even shoo the pigeons off

Me: all hollow inside with longing for the marae on
the cliff at Kohimarama, where you can watch the ships
come in curling their white moustaches

Why didn’t they stick me next to Mickey Savage?
‘Now then,’ he was a good bloke
Maybe it was a Tory City Council that put me here

They never consulted me about naming the square
It’s a wonder they never called it: Hori-in-the-gorge-at-
bottom-of-Hill. Because it is like that: a gorge,
with the sun blocked out, the wind whistling around
your balls (your balls mate) And at night, how I
feel for the beatle-girls with their long-haired
boy-friends licking their frozen finger-chippy lips
hopefully. And me again beetling

my tent eye-brows forever, like a brass monkey with
real worries: I mean, how the hell can you welcome
the Overseas Dollar, if you can’t open your mouth
to poke your tongue out, eh?

If I could only move from this bloody pedestal I’d
show the long-hairs how to knock out a tune on the
souped-up guitar, my mere quivering, my taiaha held
at the high port. And I’d fix the ripe kotiros too
with their mini-piupiu-ed bums twinkling: yeah!

Somebody give me a drink: I can’t stand it
.

5 comments:

  1. Not the sort of poem I'd expect to see on PC's blog. Can you elaborate on the meaning and what you get from it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Relevant to the discussion about a statue on the cliffs at Bastion Point, "where you can watch the ships / come in curling their white moustaches." It's been said it would be "culturally inappropriate."

      Delete

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