by Thomas Davis
Two long days of writing a constitution
And making the structure of an accreditation authority
And then the long drive from Porirua to Hamilton
Through the Ruahine range of mountains
And the mountains and hills of the Wanganui River.
All through the day we passed from sunshine to storm,
Rain and even hail blowing out of clouds
That crept white and shifting down mountains
Where rows of pines waited for cover
Before they marched in maneuvers
Designed to confuse the eyes of hawks and human beings.
We traveled so long we forgot about the white manes of seahorses
That galloped in heavy winds beneath the ocean
Into the unmoving rocks of shore.
Rainbows walked ahead of us for hours,
Sometimes one, bright in its arching,
And at other times two, the dark one larger than the bright one
And always trailing behind,
A mother watching out for her adventuresome child
That once darted so close to us it made the wet branches of a pine tree shine.
We did not stop at the proceedings at Moutoa Gardens
Where Maori camped in bright colored tents,
Occupying ground in order to assert sovereignty
As old as the naming of the shaky isles by the Aborigine,
But passed gorges plunging to river waters
Below greenness that covered hills and mountains
And fell into valleys blessed by singing birds
That kept trying to tell of the rainbow’s walking glory.
At the Lady of the Waterfall, in the rain,
Mana Forbes blessed the stones we had taken to ourselves
After we climbed down steps to the waterfall
In the country of kings.
Note: After the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium was founded in Canada, the next step was to begin writing a Constitution, which happened at Kahukura in New Zealand. This poem was written there.