I clutch my pounamu When I enter this place Clinging to my mana as the stares Ripple through ashen waves Of faces Bathed in blissful ignorance
Faces that do not know The kisses of Papatuanuku Upon the soles of their feet Faces that do not recognise The tears of Ranginui As he weeps For his separated lover
Nor the wailing Of the whaea Who sits wrapped in chains Of the colonial nine-to-five As she mourns what she could have had But never had The whaea is My looking glass
Day by day I scale a paywall Of a trickster’s whare wananga To claw back what was taken From me And just like Rangi I lament for my separation Of what I will never fully return to
I fear the shackles that my people lock themselves into Every day To preserve their fractured wairua Greenstone shattered, The sharp blue eye Of their manaia Crushed in a sea of white footsteps An accessory to their ivory tower
And so, I clutch my pounamu When I’m in this space.