My heart is alive in the heart of the All
Dedicated to James Rano Dick (Hemi)
Today I think about a man
Who touched my aching heart
Who welcomed me with open arms
Yet, now we are apart
A tattooed man who hongied me
Down by the river shore
Of Takaka, in Golden Bay
& now I’ll tell you more
I’m Hemi, mate; he said to me
His smile an open door
& something moved within my soul
I’d heard that name before
Another man, another time
In Jerusalem, further north
The Maori Jesus grinned at me
& took me to the source
I’m of the tribe, the River Tribe
I’ll meet you down the line
The Maori Jesus shook my hand
For now was closing time
The river took his life from me
I read it in the news
& stunned I stare out at the bush
& softly hum the blues
Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem
I’m bowing at your feet
The Maori Jesus reigns in you
Where tribe & poet meet
The saying tells us; ‘My heart’ (the heart of the person connected to the Self)‘Is alive in the heart of the All’ (is alive in the heart of the Divine)
The poem was written after the 7.8 Culverden Earthquake
After the quake, I visited the Golden Bay to get away from the aftershocks
I camped among freedom campers near the Takaka River
The campers called their community; ‘the river tribe.’
In the camp, I met a Maori man; Hemi. The name Hemi reminded me of the poet James K Baxter & ‘the tribe’ that gathered around him in the early 70s at Jerusalem on the Wanganui River.
A week or so later I heard the shocking news that Hemi had accidentally drowned in the Takaka River.
The poem is dedicated to Hemi
‘The Maori Jesus’ is one of James K Baxter’s poems.
In Baxter’s poem, the Maori Jesus comes to earth, living in poverty & playing the guitar.
He chooses 12 disciples from among the poorest members of society.
The ‘Maori Jesus’ (or Spirit) is always present where we choose to empathically relate to the oppressed & disadvantaged.