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No. 66 (March 1969)
– 15 –

Visit to the Museum

They surround me here
The spirits of my ancestors
Embedded in wood
Soft-swirling
Fine-turning
As intricate and magnetic
As the fine twists of smoke
Which blackened sturdy rafters
And raupo-roofing …

Huddled here together
Banded tight against
Enemy, storm and ghost

Warm to dream

As white smoke etches slowly
Against encroaching dark
And the sleepy murmur
Of women, children
And warrior

And still supreme

The sleepy-eyed artist
Knowing that his people
Rely unknowingly
Upon the skill of his tools

And the message of his art

Dreaming into the
Soft-swirling smoke

And the blunt primitive chisel
Realizing the dream in wood
Pattern
Clothing the dream with red
And gold and black,
Blessing the dream with the
Sanctity of life
Leaving the dream

Here …
In this strangest of
places
Aligned with the near
Forgotten cultures
Of other ethnic groups …

This …
Is Maori
How …
Strange to see it here

Raupo and steel
Wood and concrete
Adze and power drill

Old and new
Forgotten and remembered

Equity …

Dinah M. Rawiri