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Harawene Whanau Reunion

for Auntie Lila, with love

Kaupapa of our Reunion (11/12/91)

                              how colours
                                   break  then weigh
               heaviness of the land against airiness of the sky
                              look at that pa there
                              or the river
                                   it's Taumarere
          with a bone-rock undertow
          radical as the best beat
                                   keeping the whanau fresh
                         for a smooth shave skinny dip
                              an eel chase
                                   to shake
off all the things you hate
                                   to splash in water
                                   and crack the soul's crust
                              thick as blood coursing paddocks knowing
you are welcome, cousin,
                                welcome! after all the wrongs
                                   (they ache) to see Turi
               Auntie Judy and my sisters
                    Mattie's new house and Grandad looking well
                         (we want this reunion)
Nanny Bella's unveiling and flowers for her grave
the fine work my cousin Helen put into decorating
our Christmas tree
                         each decoration has the name
of a Harawene (a Sullivan) sewn on in satin,
how the branches connect to make our family tree,
          our whakapapa, and the aim, our kaupapa,
is that we may know and reach out support
and love one another -- that's
          what it's all about.


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