Thursday, 24 January 2008

'Friend' - Hone Tuwhare

Do you remember that wild stretch of land
with the lone tree guarding the point from the sharp-tongued sea?

The boat we built out of branches wrenched from the tree, is dead wood now.
The air that was thick with the whir of toetoe spears succumbs at last to the grey gull’s wheel.

Oyster-studded roots of the mangrove yield
no finer feast of silver-bellied eels, and sea-snails steaming in a rusty can.

Friend, allow me to mend the broken ends
of shared days:
but I wanted to say
that the tree we climbed
that gave food and drink
to youthful dreams, is no more.
Pursed to the lips her fine-edged
leaves made whistle—now stamp
no silken tracery on the cracked
clay floor.

in this grim time
of dark unrest I press your hand
if only for reassurance that all
our jewelled fantasies were real
and wore splendid garb.
Perhaps the tree
will strike fresh roots again:
give soothing shade to a hurt
and troubled world.



  1. He was a wonderful poet. Just so evocative and lovely.

  2. Now that is nice, shame he got overshadowed by Hillary. Not that I have anything against Ed, it's just, you know.

  3. Hello. I am working in this poem for school. Can you tell me what's the name of the book and the year that Hone Tuwhare published this poem?

    Thank you. I hope you respond my message.

  4. @ Anonymous, “Friend” is from Hone Tuwhare’s 1958 book “No Ordinary Sun.”

  5. i'm working on this for a school assessment, can anyone help me with techniques and the main idea in the poem "friend"? would be a great help. thanks


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