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TERESIA TEAIWA

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Dyed in Paru

 

‘Kahu Ora’ makes

me think of Blanket Man. It

makes me think of Ben.

 

Ben Hana braved streets

paved with cold; drunks drunker than

him; histories untold.

 

At his tangi in

Waitangi Park, his coffin

was bare. It was bare.

 

Mana whenua

elders sang him a kahu,

one with tāniko.

 

A rich Pākehā

paid for Ben’s tangi. That’s cool.

Yeah, that’s kind of cool.

 

Wellington is not

the same without Blanket Man.

It is much poorer.

 

Maybe someone in

the afterworld will weave Ben

a whakatipu.

 

 

 

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