Stepping Off

We live the raw enchantment
Of the edge that is Onetahua
The scary, scary, stepping off place
Where the dead step-free
So it’s no wonder we feel disorientated
& struggle to relate to the settlers

Who return by bus to Collingwood
For the Wairua is unsettling
& not of the settler world,
It’s of earth & ocean
& stars & whales & trails
& found in darkness

& uncertainty & struggle
& is prior to logic & cages
& is a law unto itself 
& roars & croons & loves
& is utterly

The stepping off place Onetahua is where the spirits of South Island Māori depart to make their return journey to Hawaiki. ‘Hawaiki’ can be seen to symbolise ‘the place of origin’ (or the godSpark).  The poem sees Onetahua as a place of death and rebirth where people ‘step off’ in order to die to ‘settler mind’ and be reborn into the life of the Wairua.

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