E Tuna by Sarah Maindonald


Sarah Maindonald reads her own poem, E Tuna, written in response to the exhibition Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Robin White and Ruha Fifita We are the Small Axe
Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhtū; purchased 2019

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we are swimming upstream,

these are our waters and yet, 

we are parched


the house of God they built

has sullied our stream


out the back

our ways, our rhythms, our joyous wiggles 

are wasted away


in the front

there is expansive singing, reverberates across the back field

our people have swallowed the hook

It has grown into their stomach

they are sick, then sicker


somewhere out the back there is an older drum



the tuna hear it

they are beating their way back


swimming upstream