Waka 99

Waka 99

If waka could be resurrected
they wouldn’t just come out
from museum doors smashing
glass cases revolving and sliding
doors on their exit

they wouldn’t just come out
of mountains as if liquidified
from a frozen state
the resurrection wouldn’t just
come about this way

the South Island turned to wood
waiting for the giant crew
of Maui and his brothers
bailers and anchors turned back
to what they were when they were strewn

about the country by Kupe
and his relations
the resurrection would happen
in the blood of the men and women
the boys and girls

who are blood relations
of the crews whose veins
touch the veins who touched the veins
of those who touched the veins
who touched the veins

who touched the veins
of the men and women from the time
of Kupe and before.
The resurrection will come
out of their blood.


‘Waka 99', 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.

Recordings

Books by Robert Sullivan