Keith Shorrocks Johnson

Gold Star - 7,714 Points (9th June 1944 / Cheshire, England)

Matariki [maori New Year] - Poem by Keith Shorrocks Johnson


Our birth-folk
Sky and earth
Together and apart
Grief and yearning
Heaving and strain.

Their children
The woodlands
And the seas
The winds and waves
The food stores
War and stillness.

Though the young struggle
With storms and snares,
The dark and emptiness
Are overcome by light and growth
And the sky is clothed in stars.

Get ready for the westerly
Stand fast for the southerly
It will be icy white inland
And icy cold on the shore.

May the dawn rise
On snow, on frost

The breath of life!


At the island's edge
The warrior-waves
Swell and break
In unison
And the shore
Picks up the challenge.

Across the strait
Are distant mountains,
Arrayed like wise chiefs
Capped with heron feathers,
Snow-shone with white flame,
Welcoming us to the winter solstice.

Topic(s) of this poem: new year

Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem is a composite and the first section drew upon translations of some traditional Maori verses. I do not claim absolute ownership though the Powhiri is mine.

Comments about Matariki [maori New Year] by Keith Shorrocks Johnson

  • Simone Inez Harriman (6/20/2017 4:02:00 PM)

    A lovely well penned poem about the Maori New Year, Matariki. Thank you Keith.10+ (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

[Report Error]