Iona Winter: Tōrea

Jan 2023 | Found in translation, Hybrid


Tāku wahine was in te pātiki.
Kurī at heel.

He katikati te kōrero, early ī tēnei ata. Tongues were sharpened. Kupu flew wide, like tōrea before kā heihei. My things, rammed into pēke parapara – he waka huia kore.

Mārama filters te pō. Cannot noho without the other. Like us.

Kei te waho, everything looks perfect. Ekari, ki roto o te whare, tutū te puehu resides. Akin to my tupuna, the unknown ka whakaanga. Tāku wahine is no longer in the field. Tōna karukaru coats my rikarika. Soon, tōna kōiwi will rest.


My woman was in the field.
Dog at heel.

Early this morning, we spoke harshly. Tongues were sharpened. Words flew wide, like oyster-catchers before storms. My things, rammed into rubbish bags – there are no treasure boxes.

Light filters the dark. Cannot exist without the other. Like us.

From outside, everything looks perfect. But chaos resides in the house. Akin to my ancestors, I must face the unknown. My woman is no longer in the field. Her blood coats my hands. Soon, her bones will rest.

NB: Southern dialect: rikarika = ringaringa, kā = ngā, ekari = engari

Iona Winter (Waitaha) is the author of three collections, and has recently completed her fourth. She has been widely published and anthologised internationally, and her poetry and hybrid fiction have been performed solo and in collaboration with other multimedia artists. Iona is currently working on a creative non-fiction book addressing the complexities of being suicide bereaved, and her side project Elixir & Star Press. 

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