Thursday, 12 January 2017


.New Zealand Forest Giants

Rimu Tree
Kauri Tree

One Hundred Years After Their Demise
the Gods are Recycled

Hail Ancient Ones!
Haere mai
our Chieftan Kauri
lost from our eyes
for the last hundred years
- you of the gold blood
who whispered our songs
into the ears of the sun.

Te Kiteroa
our Elder Rimu,
the wise ones who held
the sky to the land
as it struggled to stride away:
you also we wailed for
at your going,
Gods of our heart.

We thought we had lost you for ever
but, pah!
No one could diminish your power,
though men tried, men tried,
when they roughly dismembered
your reign
of two hundred, a hundred more,
a thousand years.

Haere mai.
It is good to see you again
- the swirl of your mere,
the fierce glare of your eye,
the fire of your soul
glows alive in your flesh.

Haere mai. Haere mai.
We see you arise, renewed
under the artisan’s hand,
Te Kiteroa
now fragmented and multiplied
and brought into our homes
as a chest of drawers, table, chair.

The people (your people),
know who we host.
We honour our guests.
We invite you in.

Haere mai. Haere mai. Haere mai.


Pahiatua :     resting place of a god
Kanapa:       shining
Tirorangi:     skypiercer
Maungatua:  mountain of spirits
Maiki:          the high place
Te Kiteroa:   the long view

these translations of the names given to the Kauri and Rimu trees in this poem came from ‘A Dictionary of Maori Place Names’ by A.W. Reed.

Poem Copyright: Lois E Broom and from "Daisy Hill - home is where the hat is."

I used to work as a salesperson for a company that made the most amazing furniture out of recycled timber - mainly Kauri and Rimu that they sourced from some of the most unusual places. More often than not interesting flaws would be left in them by the craftsmen which made the furniture very individual and recognisable . The particular quality of Kauri is that it is a soft wood and easy to work and has the sort of grain which refracts light and I would be hurrying down the showroom, when a beam of sunlight caught the table and as I passed it would flash light out at me. I never tired of going back to watch it happen again. Rimu is a much harder wood and has a rich golden to red grain, the more intense in grain and colour as it gets closer to being heart wood.

Table made from Kauri wood 

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely poem to share-I love trees in this country and hope my place is a safe haven for them.