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No. 54 (March 1966)
– 48 –

HINEMOA AND TUTANEKAI

Ngahuia Gordon, aged 16, is a pupil at Western Heights High School, Rotorua.

Only
The seagull screams
Across the sands
in daylight,
Sands softened
by the quiet tramp
Of white feet.

But,
in the frosty moonlight,
Silver on
the rippling waters,
A figure steals
silent
To these sands.

Slim,
graceful as the gull,
A maiden,
body gleaming,
Naked but for calabash,
Lured by the soft music
Of her bastard lover.

Aue!
Cold is te roto,
cold, uninviting,
black, treacherous,
But strengthened
With the fire of love.
‘I must press on.’

Slide
Through a cloud: ‘Marama,
Do not forsake me!
I need your light.
Indeed—
Alas—
The flute has failed.’

Persevere
E Hinemoa.
He will be there,
A muscular body,
Strong, soothing,
to relieve at last
Your tired flesh.

‘E Hine!’
Eyes meet
In chilly moonbeams
Now warmer, sweeter
than a million
Maori summers.

United
in a paradise
Of earthy flavour
But ethereal mood,
the couple sleep
In peace.

No more
shall lilt a theme
of love
Across the gentle
waters of the lake.
But one will
always feel them,
Even see them
there.

And hear
Their hollow voices
Past, but perpetual,
Yet only
misty memories—
In a faded age—
United in immortal love.