About the Poem
About the poet
Born in The Netherlands, Riemke Ensing moved to New Zealand in 1951. A distinguished poet,...
Days of Remembrance: The Ancestors
Day of Remembrance: The Ancestors
(for Muy Leng)
The windows have been opened. Doors also.
You walk and look you disturb the physical world.
Food stands prepared and tables ready themselves
for water spilling the spirit of life into earth. Light
marks the way daffodils shout hosannas
from their golden bowls. Even the sun
seems redolent with joy spreading luxurious
warmth this salt bright day. Wind stirs the trees.
Birds join in grace before meals. The house sparkles
with thanksgiving. Even the view opens its arms
towards a horizon curved in blue embrace.
Grieving hills resonate
with the occupation of past. All those
accumulated moments gathered as ancestors
intent on discarding time. Moving from sorrow
towards a preference for light.
‘Day of Remembrance - The Ancestors’, first published in JAAM 17, May 2002, © Riemke Ensing 2002, used by permission of the author Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.