To My Grandson
Oliver Maireriki
Aged One Day

Fierce little warrior,

What are you dreaming of

In your pre-dawn sleep?

The ancestral carver

Who jealously preserves

The stern family likeness

Has carved your small face

From obsidian, denting

The bridge of the nose

So that you grimly frown

As if bracing yourself

To wake up in a world

Far removed from the warm

Maternal waters of Tongareva

Where you had waited

All these years to be born,

Moulded in the spirit

Of the last anointed ariki

Whose proud name you bear.

Dearest blood of the land,

The wonder of your parents,

Elizabeth and Gregory,

Through whom our ancestors

Express their brooding care,

What more can I wish you than

The fulfilment of your dreams,

Love and peace of mind

And the world to enjoy?


By Alistair Te Ariki Campbell