Tangaroa Nui

Last night I dreamed again of tides,

not those tides rocking soundlessly

in caves that shuffle old men off

in their extremity, but those inner

tides that have their source in dreams

where my father, astride the passage,

reins them in with outstretched hands …

I saw again the tides plunging

in harness, sea and sky boiling

together, and myself a child flipped

high into the air by a dolphin,

to float down softly as a feather

past my father’s smiling eyes, past

the wheeling seabirds, to settle

on the sand and fall fast asleep

with the tide beating in my ears

as surely as the heart of him

who checks the pulse and flow of things

and holds time in his hands.


By Alistair Te Ariki Campbell