Journal » Trout 15 » Origins (Mihi) [Mariana Isara]
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Origins (Mihi)

Mariana Isara

So where are you from?
    I’m from Auckland originally.
No, I mean where do you come from
before you came to New Zealand.


In the year of the Springbok
I am from the breaking of water
from the slapping of bodies
from the lips of a conch shell
from cells, dividing.

I am from around here
from elsewhere
from the African Eve
from migrant dreams.

I am from the unnamed
bones singing me
from Savaii, from the flatlands,
windlands, England
Ireland, Scotland, French Farm
from Akaroa and Smith Street.

I am from leave
before sunrise
from nigger, nigger
pull the trigger
from power to the people
from the influenza of 1918.

I’m from the fish
hooked by Maui
from stolen land
in a colonised country.

I’m from quit following me
around your bookstore
around your jewellery store
around your dairy.

I am from afakasi
from two halves don't make a whole
from when they were in –

I am from a wordless song
sung with the body
from light the shape of light
the colour of skin and longing.

I am from open
from 9 stretched hours
from cool oxygen
from the wattle tree.

I am from our people
once were potters
from a matai who can orate
like a woman weaves
from archipelago, waves.

I am from an artist
a feminist
from her uterus
buried beneath the purple –
hebe in the driveway.

I am from relative poverty
from the minimum wage
from the d.p.b.

I’m from an exodus of cheap labour
from this country is overrun by

I’m from a history of hearts
from a dawn, raided.

I’m from are you a Kiwi?
and am I?

I’m from how many questions
before the first question sounds like hate?

I’m from why don’t you go back
where you came from?

This is where I came from.

I’m from can you see
where I’m coming from?


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© Copyright 2008 Mariana Isara & Trout.