Maori_Wood_Carving
Type
Poetry

Red tiki

(New Years Day 2015
on the road between Arrowtown
and Hokitika.)

Bought a red tiki
in a Wanaka souvenir shop for
a mere six dollars eighty but
red is my son’s colour even if
he doesn’t know it yet.
And the kitschy little atua will
look outrageous hanging
around his neck.

The greeting card is for my daughter.
It has a print on it, playful and surreal;
a foundling’s dream
beneath a sleeping moon.
It cost nearly three times more
than the tiki but the image suits
her soul.

I’ll mail it tomorrow from Hokitika
in the envelope provided.
A greeting card should be inscribed
and arrive in the appropriate manner.

My son will have to wait until I visit him.
A red tiki must be delivered kanohi
ki te kanohi.

 

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Ben Brown is an award-winning children’s author, poet, short story and nonfiction writer, though he has never quite been able to work out what the various distinctions are, so he refers to himself primarily as a writer.

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