Lily shared a moment

Lily Engelbrecht | September 2021

enjoying the poetry of Hone Tuwhare.

enjoying the poetry of Hone Tuwhare

HOTERE

Ka tohu mai koe e toru rāina noa iho

rāina tūmāhoe i tino āta whakairotia

ka pokia ki roto i te puna peita pōuri

Āe koe he matekai te mea e kitea ana:

koia, ahatia i pōrukuruku aku karu

ki runga, ki tua kia titiro ki roto i

ahau, tau kē au ki te tīmatanga

o tō korekore, kia kī rawa atu ahau: e mara!

e hoki anō tāua ki te kai kūtai

Inā rā, me tino wānanga e tōhoa, e mara

Ina tāke rāina pae koe

ki ngā rāina tūmāhoe, anō nei ko rātou kei te

haere mua, hoki muri, wiriwiri, pahū ngaru ana

rite tonu ki te ngahoronga haupū kaari

hoianō tāke he ngunguru, he me: koinā, mēnā

ehara i te kore kai, he hākari nui whakaharahara

Me rōra moki anō tōhoa, e mara

Engari koa, ka tineia e koe he porohita ārani whakahirahira

ki runga i te papa-whakaaro pūpara

me rūrū tōhoa i taku mātenga, ka mea: auē e mara, he aha kē

te taonga nei te aroha

Koia, kua aukatia au e mara, kua tāia

trans. Patu Hohepa

Hotere

When you offer only three

vertical lines precisely drawn

and set into a dark pool of lacquer

it is a visual kind of starvation:

and even though my eye-balls

roll up and over to peer inside

myself, when I reach the beginning

of your eternity I say instead: hell

let’s have another feed of mussels

Like, I have to think about it, man

When you stack horizontal lines

into vertical columns which appear

to advance, recede, shimmer and wave

like exploding packs of cards

I merely grunt and say: well, if it

is not a famine, it’s a feast

I have to roll another smoke, man

But when you score a superb orange

circle on a purple thought-base

I shake my head and say: hell, what

is this thing, called love

Like, I’m euchred, man. I’m eclipsed

(1970)

Hone Tuwhare