Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vaughan Rapatahana

who will speak?

who will speak for
    the teenagers raped flat
            by ‘boyfriend’s’ fistic ego?
                                                   I will.
who will parley for
    the indigenes ripped raw
            by ‘master’s’ rancid tongue?
                                                   I will.
who will talk for
    the invalids invalidated
             by bureaucrat’s grumpy stamp?
                                                   I will.
who will argue for
     the masses abnegated
             by tyrant’s wartorn gun? 
                                                   I will
I’ll stand.
I’ll korero.
I’ll be staunch.
I will
scrawl down lines in the sand
shout them relentless.
set them in stone.
                                                     I have.
[korero is New Zealand Maori for talk.]
let me be your friend
your true friend
and on those dark days
when the hardness hits your heart
turn to me
I will soothe our path.

Vaughan Rapatahana: New Zealand Maori, married to a lady from Philippines, where we also have a home. We live and work in Hong Kong and ours' is a polyglottal family.

Published very widely in variety of genre: two books of poetry in 2011 being Home Away Elsewhere (Proverse Hong Kong) and china as kafka (Kilmog Press, Aotearoa-NZ.) Links as here: and

June 2012 will see publication of the significant critical work English Language as Hydra (Multilingual Matters, U.K.) Link as here:

Finally, yes - I have been through severe mental torment and affliction, being institutionalized at one stage many years ago. Being Indigenous and marginalized has also been a factor in this situation, as well as having had quite a few torrid family situations. Engari kaore nga raruraru (But - no problems.)

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