by Christopher Ruthe

Land of the long white cloud
The now Name
For three South Pacific Isles
Between the Pacific
And the Tasman Sea.

A sign of hope,
Waters replenishment?
All brightness
te Ra
Matariki* and all the heavenly stars
Filtered through distant fog.

Long white cloud
Harbinger of depression-
Atmospheric at least.

Other nations named
By terra firma links
A Place to stand.

Land defined
By the ephemeral, vacuous
Fog in the sky.

Colonialist nomenclature
New Zealand deleted, past
Passed by in history
According to our latest guides.
Their vision clouded
By long whites?


* Matariki is a star cluster. “A cluster is a group of stars that are near each other in space. When seen from Earth, the stars in a constellation appear to be close together in a pattern, but they might actually be far from each other. There are about 500 stars in the Matariki cluster.” [Te Papa, 2021]