Waitaha

This long land
accepts everything that comes,
takes it in,
as the primeval folds
of the tuatara’s skin
take in the strata.
And it has sheltered
these foreign ones too,
their demands, their impossibilities,
and still it is an open hand,
a face leaned in
pressed against them in welcome,
while the ranges of wild grass
slope down to catch
their treasured cargo,
their fraught tomorrow.
There is room for everything
in this long land of cloud,
where deep in the lost valleys
the native forests suckle,
and leap within their
ancient green tangle of song.

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