Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)


Craving A Taste Of Kiwi


last night I lonesome had
irresistible urge to eat kiwi
craving a taste of kai kiwi
the earth is giver of all life

from the soil comes food
native foods New Zealand
that same food is cooked
in oven beneath the earth

but expatriate here will find
no hangi traditional feast
nor any food of home forest
stream sea or gardens kiwi

years since eaten white bait
fresh silver jewels of Buller
River in my far home town
kumara tasty potato sweet

no traditional delicacies
grace my table no hangi
cooked meat vegetables
placed on bed hot stones

in bottom of dug hangi
hole no birds fish kiwi
wild herbs roots mixed
no food cloth covered

before mound of earth
traps heat around food
Maori tourism visitors
eat as guests hangi food

no taewa tutaekuri pass
lips deep purple potato
no rewena pararoa pass
lips potato Maori bread

my father puha gathered
a leafy vegetable green
to be found growing wild
after heavy Buller rains

kowhitiwhiti watercress
also smiling he harvested
greenlip mussels off rocks
at seashore neap low tides

greenlip mussels I ate
as kuku patties paua
from mother of pearl
shells in far away land

Submitted: Sunday, December 04, 2011
Edited: Monday, December 05, 2011

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