Song 18

I watch from the Arnold River swing bridge

Two
Black
Swans
Cut
A
V

Through
The
Dark
Waters
Of
Kotuku Whakaoho

This is not the yoga of rivers

But
The
Yoga
Of
My
River

Specific
Historic
Geographic
Personal

It
Is
The yoga of my grandfather
Ernie Reynolds
Whose
Boatshed
Once
Stood
In
This
Very
Place

Of
My
Grandmother
Kate
My father
Jim
My
Mother
Mona
&
Of
Sisters
&
Brother
Of
Aunts, uncles, cousins
Wife, daughter, son

Each crosses these dark waters

It is the yoga
Of
Rimu
&
Kahikatea

Of
Punga
&
Fern

Morepork
Weka
&
Kotuku

Dragonfly
Cockabully
&
Koura

Of
My
First
Brown trout

Caught
Barely a hundred metres from this spot

It
Is
The Yoga
Of
The
Tangata Whenua

The Maori tribes of Aotearoa
Whose
Presences
Still
Grace
This
Shadowed
Shore

&
Of
The great Maori war canoe
Waka Taua
With
War chief & warriors & war chant
Passing
Me
Numinous
In
A
Dream

It is the yoga of my birth

Of my specific life

Of
My
Personhood

My
Call

Of
White
Feathered
Kotuku

My
Angel Holy Spirit

Who
Spreads
His
Wings

Comes to me

Out
Of
Spirits
Shimmering
Depth

Who
Arises

Remains

Is
Ever with me

Who
Sees
Through
These
Very
Eyes
~
All
This
I
Bring
To
Balance

In a vision born out of hearts deep core

As cycle ends

Cycle
Begins

Above
Kotuku Whakaoho

Where

A
Still

Solitary

Kotuku

Spreads
Luminous
Wings

Lifts

Flaps

&
Is

Gone

7/06/12

On Queens Birthday weekend I travelled to the West Coast to spend time on my mountain (Te Kinga) & beside my river (Kotuku Whakaoho… or The Arnold). I stayed in a cabin in Moana: the town of my birth. A huge change process was unfolding within me & I knew I needed to draw close to my roots. In the poem I attempt to draw together, into one unified whole, both my personal life & history & also my transpersonal Self. In the poem the Self is ‘Kotuku’; also ‘my Angel Holy Spirit’. ‘Kotuku’ comes from a dream in which I encountered the Self as an incandescent Kotuku. The phrase ‘Angel Holy Spirit’ is drawn from the writing of Henri Corbin who draws on esoteric (inner) streams within Islamic mysticism. Corbin writes: At the moment a soul finds itself to be a stranger and alone in a world formally familiar, a personal figure appears on its horizon, a figure that announces itself to the soul personally because it symbolises with the soul’s most intimate depths. In other words the soul discovers itself to be the earthly counterpart of another being with which it forms a totality that is duel in character. The two elements of this dualitude may be called the ego and the Self, or the transcendent celestial Self and the earthy Self, or by other names’. 1) In places I chose to write lines of the poem in the present tense; to emphasise its visionary nature: i.e. ‘Each cross these dark waters’ rather than ‘each has crossed these dark waters’ which would have emphasised ‘literal linear time’ rather than ‘visionary time’ or ‘dream time’. Kotuku Whakaoho is the original Maori name for the Arnold River. It is also the Maori name for Lake Brunner. It means ‘flapping of the white heron’s wings’. ‘Koura’ is the fresh water crayfish. ‘Waka Taua’ is a war canoe. It comes from an early dream where I was standing on the banks of the Arnold River when a Maori War Canoe with chanting warriors passed me paddling upstream. The dream left me stunned. The ‘Tangata Whenua’ are the people of the land: the Maori people who were here before the English colonised New Zealand. Maori spiritual presence remains strong along the Arnold River.

1) Henri Corbin, Avicenna, 20-22.

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