By | 1 June 2022

Climb the pa and walk its ridgeback wet kikuyu
grass. At the top, spy the land from bays to
islands, dips to coves, as hills dissolve to sea.
Climb down to Rangihoua and rest under
Marsden’s cross. There, the sea—waist deep,
neck deep—the tide pulls out to the bay and
back to his-story.

He crossed the beach to reach the Māori world;
the foreshore, a strip of land between him and
those souls. The furrowed earth, ruled as the
pitsawn walls of his house, but the sea
encroached, lapping. His ruled life: the Māori
world, a series of waves. An English stone on
which the tide crashed. I swim in that sea.

Turning away
from the beach,
I follow a path to the head;
back between the hills, my eyes
will almost miss
his mark: a stone finger
pointing cloudward,
up, up, to the
smoothed sky.
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