By Carin Smeaton
Rin (Muaūpoko/Safotu/Safune/Pākehā) lives in Tāmaki Makaurau with her sons Yuga and Kazma. Her first book, Tales of the Waihorotiu was published by Titus in 2017. Her poetry and stories have also been published in Best NZ Poems, Mayhem Literary Journal, Landfall, Brief, Cordite Poetry Review, JAAM, Turbine|Kapohau, Phantom Billsticker's Cafe Reader, Spinoff Books, the Friday Poem, and Atlanta Review. In her spare time she likes to hang out in Myers Park with her bf Mohi.
te uru karaka
always a good bitch i live next door to richard who lives next door to a lady who keeps amusing antique egg-cups on her window-sill i hear them call me a whore when they thinks im not listening cos i runs my own business in heels and lace they dont know my name yet they only knows i plantd acres of strwberries next to my house on a vacant lot running all the ways down to the north-western motorway right next to the kura
after school the kids get caught on the footbridge throwing stones onto southbound traffic slithering beneath us at 70 decibels big it warms yr brain like a big dum macaroon melting in the sun so slow no one never notice highways just sounds like one long dead-do-dance end-of-summer song of cicadas to me except for when the sirens take the souls away
these kids at the bridge thinks im a witch but im just a nose-to-ground sassy lady (a lady’s lady) absorbing all the shocks in a town full of impotent volcanoes i seen the kererū u hit i see the damage done (shooting yr air rifles) u dont see me seeing u shootin em up dropping em down pulling the wings off bumble bees sticky with no good intentions and u dont need to be a witch to watch the wingless ones fall in sways n swirls off the bridge dodging windscreens (or not)
so watch what u call me dont listen to yr parents either they get too fast out of their cars scurry into the house with their 2 dollar choc-tops so quick we wont never cross paths (ha!) out of sight out of mind (ha that’s what they think) tbh u can call me whatever you want cos whore or not which or whatever it dont matter to the injured sparrow ur holding u should put it in a box sparrows freak out u could cover it up so it dont get scared so it dont get out so it dont get got (it already gotten got) now take it quick to the keepers
i’d keep it myself nurse its poor broken leg but it’s too bent back to get any better (so what can u do) my gramps in gumboots wd of stampd on its head if he was here that’s what he wd of done that’s what he did to my old girl honey a quick death is mercy is what he’d say (so i gave him one too) but no time for that now a kingfisher’s mouth only stays empty til the next rainy day and im not gonna euthanise birds im not gonna play nurse knee deep in seedlings (who else is gonna stop this soggy hill slipping away in an imminent landslide?) and i need to get moving before my joints seize up cos i cant plant my strawberries & slow the slip with these frozen hips to hell with countdown tips: buy nz grown instead who would stick needles in a strwberry anyway? who even does that?
my strawberries wd never spill such bitter beans this crop is a good spell we’ll work wonders here on this hill where papatūānuku tries hard to stop the rot if toitoi tickle her thighs if we rub the kawakawa all over her belly let her eat strawberries in love & retribution (tho u cant do much about the sanctified snobs & the pool they dont share) there’s parsley too i planted it all in lace n high heels (richard knows) branded with dior and dung atonement and hay & when the crops ripens one day remember to help yrself b4 the kererū do
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Toi Māori Aotearoa's blog is purposed to keep you up to date with the latest happenings going on both here at Toi, and across the Māori arts scene in Aotearoa, and abroad.