Papa-Tu-A-Nuku

Papa-Tu-A-Nuku
(Earth Mother)

We are stroking, caressing the spine
of the land.

We are massaging the ricked
back of the land

with our sore but ever-loving feet:
hell, she loves it!

Squirming, the land wriggles
in delight.

We love her.

 

 

 

This poem refers to the Awakening — the Maori land march that began at Te Hapua, the northernmost settlement of Te Aupouri, on 14 September 1975 and ended at Parliament Buildings, Wellington on 17 October.


‘Papa-Tu-A-Nuku’, from Small Holes in the Silence: Collected Works (Godwit, Random House, 2011), © Hone Tuwhare 2011, used by permission of Rob Tuwhare on behalf of the Estate of Hone Estate. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004.

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