Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vaughan Rapatahana

who will speak?

who will speak for
    the teenagers raped flat
            by ‘boyfriend’s’ fistic ego?
                                                   I will.
who will parley for
    the indigenes ripped raw
            by ‘master’s’ rancid tongue?
                                                   I will.
who will talk for
    the invalids invalidated
             by bureaucrat’s grumpy stamp?
                                                   I will.
who will argue for
     the masses abnegated
             by tyrant’s wartorn gun? 
                                                   I will
I’ll stand.
I’ll korero.
I’ll be staunch.
I will
scrawl down lines in the sand
shout them relentless.
set them in stone.
                                                     I have.
[korero is New Zealand Maori for talk.]
let me be your friend
your true friend
and on those dark days
when the hardness hits your heart
turn to me
I will soothe our path.

Vaughan Rapatahana: New Zealand Maori, married to a lady from Philippines, where we also have a home. We live and work in Hong Kong and ours' is a polyglottal family.

Published very widely in variety of genre: two books of poetry in 2011 being Home Away Elsewhere (Proverse Hong Kong) and china as kafka (Kilmog Press, Aotearoa-NZ.) Links as here: and

June 2012 will see publication of the significant critical work English Language as Hydra (Multilingual Matters, U.K.) Link as here:

Finally, yes - I have been through severe mental torment and affliction, being institutionalized at one stage many years ago. Being Indigenous and marginalized has also been a factor in this situation, as well as having had quite a few torrid family situations. Engari kaore nga raruraru (But - no problems.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Annette Hakiel


I have a mind like a Liberty Bell, a curiosity
because it's cracked. I have a mind

that needs inspection like an Italian restaurant
filled with rats. When my mind wanders

out of my life like a broken tooth or cheating
boyfriend, a fairy leaves small change under my

pillow with a note saying, "These pennies
are for your thoughts. Swallow them

with a full glass of your pride. You're either
nobody now, or the Maharishi hiding in the body

of a giraffe." When my mind wanders
it descends down the winding staircase

of madness in a flamenco dress. My mind
is a nondescript piece of black luggage

I lose, presumably put on the wrong plane
of existence in an airline error. My mind

is the rottweiler that runs away from home,
wagging its tail as it chases reality

like a mailman to La La Land two
counties over. I was going to put up fliers

saying, Have you seen this lost
mind? Responds to the name Fluffy, but

guess what, Fluffy, that scrapper,
came home, and now every day like clockwork

at two pm on its new leash, my mind, barking
mad and broken, growls as it tries to bite

reality right in the ass. Forget reality. Never am I again
going to lose my mind, my furry, crazy friend.

Annette Hakiel lives in New York.