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No. 76 (June 1975)
– 40 –

TE AO HOU

Your people cry out for knowledge
but the baskets of food are almost empty
and we know not where to find
Te Whare a Tane.
While you recline in obesity
your stockades crumble
and the Tautiaki salutes the company
of wind and rain, and lowly beasts.

You shrug and turn away
with eyes blurred survey
your traditions being swept aside
by the flood of life
while that which you hold sacred
gesticulates from behind the windows
of a Pakeha shop
and the Manaia carved for dollars and cents
bows his head in shame.

Let not the ‘garment of Tu’
become a moth-ball of modern neglect
Whakatika!
take up your paddles
cast your dart Ki Te Reo Maori
hold tight your Maoritanga
lest your calabash overflow
with the fat of modern living
and the death of yesterday
becomes a meaningless wave of tomorrow.

Henare Dewes