all our directions home
the taonga are placed on the sand.
taiaha stand quivering in the wind
speaking to the rōpū of sand-diggers
fire-lighters, early morning risers.
the people of this place mix easily
with us manuhiri, come to watch.
the greenstone mere from long ago
today, smashes the seashell in half:
a clean break between where we’ve
come from & where we are now.
we talk on the wind—impatience,
the ragged wave, sinks into the sand.
we listen to a story of sea birds—
how in the evening, their bellies full
they’ll spiral upwards on the wind.
when high enough, the leading birds
will cry out & begin to fly straight
in the direction of their island home.
the birds on the sea, watching this
lift off & follow, flying to the horizon.
you who first rise up on the wind
to see which way for us, we promise
to follow. call out loud from above
& we in our numbers will fly!
the tide turns, we gather the taonga,
put them in the boot of the car
& drive to the whare, where we eat
together silently—before, one-by-one
we rise to the heights & speak
of all our directions home.