I traveled to an ancient land,
Where mountains dive into the sea.
And in the black volcanic sand
My startled footprints followed me
Like harrying questions nipping at my heels,
Springing from the ground to hound
My rootlessness with furious queries.
Is this for me? This land of broken promises?
Not this but that I left behind or the one before
Or before that as well? Is this for me?
I ask on the constricted way winding
Like a periphrastic sentence to Cape Reinga,
The world’s end where oceans meet and the mighty
Tasman clashes like a hostile argument against the Pacific
Proposition of the day before, that calm acceptance
But even in the garden where wild hydrangeas
Range profusely by Pohutukawa trees,
A serpentine nine-to-five-ness lurks,
And huddled masses grunt and scrape
Their lengthy days into much longer years…
Only Tane Mahuta and his kauri trees
Stand silent witness to their buried fathers
Deep beneath Gum-Diggers Park waiting
For the angry growl of the Last Tsunami.