I set you free on the awa Te Ipurangi
Know not who dips your paddle
You must be free
If a voice cries from the land of Ōtautahi
Who sends thee
A poor fisherman
Whose heart is born in the belly of te wēra
Loves the easy kai of stories
Liberty of the way
In thy drifting freedom
(Kevin Moran 26/8/10)
Whakapapa: I wrote this poem as a commissioning prayer, a karakia (Maori for prayer) for the launching my counselling, psychotherapy, supervision & spiritual companioning website: www.anamcara.net.nz. It also serves as a karakia for my poetry website: www.alchemicalpsalms.com.
I’ve always had a struggle as to whether to advertise or not. Part of me says ‘just trust that the right people will find you when they need to.’ Another (more persistent) part says ‘be proactive; how can people find you if they don’t know who you are or what you offer?’ Writing the poem is an acknowledgement of both parts. I have acted & created a website. I also let go & trust that the right people will find me.
The Karakia is a deliberate letting go of the website. Letting it go to have the freedom it needs to speak to people in its own way: to make its own journey. The poem sets the ahua (feeling or beingness) of the site. It also acknowledges the soul of the website. The website lives & has its own life separate from my own.
I am grateful to Teoti Jardine for his generous assistance with the Maori Language. I have an almost zero comprehension of Te Reo but am becoming drawn to its poetic power & its connection to soul and the land. When I first started to write the psalm I had the image of launching a small fishing waka on the river of the Internet. I wanted to use the Maori word for the Internet, ‘te ipurangi,’ as it is much more poetic than the European phrase ‘the internet.’ I emailed my first draft to Teoti to see how it read in Maori. Teoti suggested ‘Mōkihi’ instead of waka. Mōkihi is the word used by Ngai Tahu to name the traditional, small, raft-like canoes made out of reeds & flax, once used to navigate local waterways. I like the smallness and ordinariness of these craft compared to the bigness & hype that can be associated with a website. Teoti also suggested using ‘awa’ the Maori word for river. I like it that the poem has a connection to Ngai Tahu the Tangeata Whenua. Thanks Teoti! The other Maori words in the poem are te wēra (the whale), kai (food) and Ōtautahi (Christchurch).
Thanks to Shane Gallagher www.zebweb.co.nz for putting both websites together.