About the Poem
About the poet
Contemporary Maori poetry in English has found its poetically most versatile spokesman in Robert...
I am Tane Mahuta - and not offended
to be introduced at this late stage.
This is Tangaroa’s story. I merely supply
the vessels. They are a small chink
in the arsenal of Tane. I command mountains,
influence the rain, the presence of my legions
directs Tangaroa’s motions (you know,
from space you see clouds amass above
my forests, my children). I am a long-term
kind of god, not drawn into quick effect.
It is suitable that I am placed near the end
of the Star Waka, to emphasise my length.
‘Waka 94', from Star Waka (Auckland University Press, 1999), © Robert Sullivan 1999, used by permission of the author and the publishers. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.