Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reading Out Loud

One of my strongest memories from this past summer is reading a Hone Tuwahre poem at Zoe and Nick's wedding. I suspect I had the honour as I was their oldest looking Maori friend. I enjoy reading out loud, it is a chance to unlease those creative juices somewhat and throw off some of the cloaks we are shrouded with...

The poem is called "Hmmmm" it is a love poem, with a strange mix of homely nostalgia and thirst for life. As I read it I was moving through a wrecked old farmhouse beside a river in South Otago, a landscape that Tuwhare called home.

Hmmmm ...

It is a house which requires
care in construction.

It has no walls thus permitting
expansion. The ceiling
is unlimited stretching to heaven.

It may endure given a chance
thats for sure: hmmmm ...

Because it is of earth, smelling
of earth, its foundation
may be built on sand.

It may be a house built on thin
wooden legs, steadfast, and
walking into a river swollen
suddenly by a cloud-burst:
or a house-boat chundered-out
and abandoned on a reef of mud.

But since there are no walls --or roof
to it, love may be seen as bars
of feeling - tones and colour, warm
cold, hot, grey and with lots
of blue, or just plain
shitty coloured!

Fleshed out though, the house of love
isn't shapeless. It has presence.
It has form - a brilliant arc
uniting heaven and earth: actually
love-thoughts seeking a new way
of expression: aha, aha aha
as horses pounding into the straight
riders snarling -- the anguish
of stretched leather smelling of sweat.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Jamie,
I love Hone, his openness and literal references. He loved women indeed. A Kiwi treasure never really served his proper due. Wish I could have heard your reading mate! Kia kaha.

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Jamie

What a Master poet is our Hone. I love the poem Comrade or is it Comrade or old Comrade ?

I moving poem to read at a wedding.

Kia kaha.