The external world is revolving around me, says the child,
while the teacher revolves gently
around the circumference of a larger circle.
Through a drone’s super fish-eye, school would be an amphitheatre
on the margin of a west coast thrust six centimetres north
during the second midnight minute
and if I had one, I might see where Aroha disappeared to
all day since morning briefing and I’m sure I’d see more than one
false start to a brave teen speech, more than one
interjection – boys just wanting
to tautoko their new skipper.
More than one
mad teacher tilting to the sun
drying the face and fissures
of a giddy, sodden skull.
You are getting yourself worked up now.
Yeah, I don’t know how to work myself down.
And what could happen, children?
You could slip off the cliff and die.
You could roll your ankle on rubble.
Rockfall. Rubbish. Don’t take even
a stone. You could get lost.
A weka might steal your lunch.
Shall we role play? Someone
has taken an institutionally large roll
of toilet paper from the common room.
Two others launch it like a kite
and when I point to the beautiful white
ripple high amongst the red-billed gulls
they point to the corner around which
the culprit has run.
Let them run! Some say
others 60 harvests
or your children’s children’s children
and that’s it. We are boarding a boat
rocking in water, moving irregularly
and swiftly, back and forth in semi-
circular fashion. I am inarticulate
in front of children,
teeth too slack in their jaws
and when the machine
spins in cycles
I separate sound from
motion, commanding all
no no, not now.
But you can’t stop a haka
once it’s turning the ground.