hokianga

hokianga
January 2018
In full, the name is ‘Te Hokianganui a Kupe’, in English, ‘The place of Kupe’s Great Return’

Hokianga
My paternal grandmother’s family, the Von Sturmers, lived first eastward along these shores then later moved south. A Weathercat summer snap.

the place
whence
Kupe returned
to his ‘windward’*
home in the
heaving plains
of ocean nor’east,
the place
whither
i return
on the summer
flood of sun
on tide,
the brood of
winter mist,
places here
written into the
genes where
ancient family
decamped*.
a return is always
to stand at the
south head,
a return is
always into light
that stings and
gluts the eye,
a return into
ghost moods of
star wind and full
moon over the
hokianga lapping it
bay by bay to the
cry of morepork
that rows the
shore away and
sailors’ shipwreck
tales told down
under dream
down under
dream,
i sleep
best
here,
here
shall
sleep
my fill

*in determining the location of ‘hawaiki’ where Kupe sailed from, one speculation is that it lies in those islands windward from the Cook islands, suggesting Ra’iatea & the Society Islands

*my maternal grandmother’s family, the Von Sturmers, lived first in the Hokianga

Copyright © 2018 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved

The music accompanying the reading is Chopin’s Nocturne No. 19, Op. 72 , No. 1 in E Minor, interpreted here by Arthur Rubenstein.

%d bloggers like this: