Lavender

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020/2021. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. The opinions expressed are those of Dr Panoho and not those of former employers or industry colleagues. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com          
rangihīroa, lavender in blue glass vase, 2019

Pale lilac blooms

stolen In Memorium…

on a hillside

steeply launched

memories like medicine

poured down white cracked concrete

warmed by evening sun

but no kind words hang here

since you passed

I never knew your name

looking around – it’s pretty much the same

you are not alone

the wind and the rain

have wiped remembrance here

but one trace remains

103 years after dirt was cast

rotten pipe clay task

wiped from holy hands

one very particular scent still hangs

French Lavender

what began as a twig

a premonition piercing mounded clay

your lover day after day

returning

yearning

remembering the way the ship soared

out through the mouth

like birth

and I too looking

seaward

across Granny’s bay towards Āwhitu

imagining you leaving Onehunga

to fight the Boers

I catch Mangere watching jealously

in the distance

lazily spitting up clouds

like melon pips

as if to say e hoa, it’s just a scraggy old bush there

kaore ngā ahi kā kei kōna

anake ngā tauiwi e okioki ana

ae, koinā te kōrero he maunga ariki

but its roots were watered

with the tears of loved ones

it’s true that on this crowded hill

they too rest somewhere else

but in off shore breezes

this old lavender

knows no boundaries on this headland

crush its healing oil in palm

and you too will see memory

and loved ones

resurrected

upon the wind

Maunga Mangere titiro ki Maungakiekie, Mangere mountain looks towards One tree Hill, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020

This short poem concerns a visit 13 February 2019 to the urupā at the top of Hillsborough. It is steeply situated with spectacular harbourside views across Manukau south to Maunga Mangere and west seawards out to Awhitu peninsular – south Manukau Heads. One of the nineeteenth century graves featured a remarkably hardy bush of lavender. I photographed a few of its many blooms. This extremely weathered and hardy shrub had been left to fend for itself but in the late afternoon sun a gentle breeze was picking up and the air around that grave was filled with the delicate scent of French Lavender. It occurred to me that a number of the shrubs and trees deliberately planted by loved ones involved broader narratives of connection. Was there something particular about the chosen plant? What might it have signified, what emotion is signified? Who were these people who planted these shrubs and how often did they return to pay their respects and perhaps just to talk…?

rangihīroa, lavender in blue glass vase, 2019

I Will Need Words

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020/2021. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. The opinions expressed are those of Dr Panoho and not those of former employers or industry colleagues. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com          

He Kōrero Tairitenga

The following poem was a contribution to a panel discussion involving Andrew Clifford, [Director Te Uru], Catherine Griffiths [typography artist], Bruce Connew [photographer] closing and acknowledging the show A Vocabulary.. and the launch of its book at Te Uru, Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Titirangi, 13 February 2021

rangihīroa, Ātarangi, Hato Mikaere, Ōhaeawai, tata atu ki te Pū o te Wheke

I W I L L N E E D W O R D S

rangihīroa, Northern Wars, 2020, coloured inks on paper, matai me Japanese cherry

rangihīroa, ngā parekura o Ngā Pakanga Whenua o Mua, Ruapekapeka, 1845/1846
rangihīroa, The Road to Ruapekapeka, 2020