Poem – Denis Welch

Porangahau

Jesus walked here, and the twelve disciples
Came up the coast from Palliser Bay,
Some crawling, some clambering over the rocks
On what was always a blustery day
And a big sea, and the sea’s repeated shocks,
But never in time enough to say:
Rangatira, leader, healer of peoples

And the hundred lakes and the long land,
Absolve us for not recognizing you
When you walked alongside us at Flat Point
And by Akitio spoke what was true.
Speak again, speak now — though none would anoint
Save the sea churning green into blue,
And the maddened wind, and the black sand.

Denis Welch

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