Criptic Critic Conscience and Known for it

Friday, January 8, 2016

Te Whiti and Tohu - Elizabeth Smither

On the last morning of his life

Te Whiti fed corn to his pigeons.

Tohu was buried on top of his coffin

smashed in a dozen pieces.

Tohu had his left hand middle finger

shot away by a bullet. Te Whiti’s

right hand middle finger was torn off

by a millstone. They married sisters.

At Tohu’s death a canoe-shaped cloud

with a figure lingered for three days.

Te Whiti spoke of ko manawanui: forbearance
the canoe by which we are to be saved.

Sharpe, I. (Ed.). (2001, January 1). Best New Zealand Poems 2001. Retrieved from

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