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A collection of poems

Imperfect Time

Oh murky Waikato

Pandora let it all go in YOU

Bright bruises
arable land under Tainui contractual concrete
squatter claimant pinko hobo coconut deadbeat OTHER

Oh no not Pandora
It’s Māui who by deceit steals fire.
Schemes to attain immortality
but our fair dinkum “Queen of the Night
shuts down
and the sound is deafening
like prison doors closing at
Pāremoremo Maximum Security
Māui’s BUM is left out in the cold
Those damp thighs split him in two
bringing death as usual
like going under and never coming up
And its off with his head and all our heads

If only death could be that nimble for the rest of us
If only death could be that nimble for the rest of us

I hear gunshots at the growing wall

Who draws the boundaries?
Whose theodolite descries happiness?
Is your enough the same as mine?

All our belongings get in the way
Furniture is so heavy
Jewellery a bind
wanting gets in the way
All our belongings get in the way of belonging
Belonging to Papatūānuku
is the only way

And we’re sleeping it off in the PADLOCKED dead house

I stagger among the stench, the she-goats, the fireweed, the silence

Open hands and the pearly gift of hope
as when my moko asks

“When we visit America will we be
black or white or neither?”
and the graffiti in my head*



*after Zeina Hashem Beck

Reihana Robinson is a writer, artist and organic farmer living on the Coromandel in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her writing has been published in the USA, Australia and New Zealand in a number of journals. Her poems have appeared as part of AUP New Poets 3, Auckland University Press, 2008 and her first volume Aue Rona was published by Steele Roberts, Wellington, NZ. (2012.) She has also held artist residencies at the East West Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i and the Anderson Center, Red Wing, Minnesota. Artwork is held in collections in Europe, USA and the Pacific. She was the inaugural recipient of the Te Atairangikaahu Award for Poetry. Her latest collection Her Limitless Her was published in 2018 as part of the Hoopla series by Mākaro Press.

(Imperfect Time references two poems published in Aue Rona: Night comes tenderly and What the stars say.)