Rima Martens

Pahkea’s Place

Rima Martens

Pahkea tell the wounded voyagers no
Crying their ocean travels play an immigration domino

Yet I’ve driven onto my tribal lands.
Saw my Marae and rowed my Waka where my ancestors swam

          Tupuna tane, did you know there would be cars here?
          Tupuna wahine, did you know there would be saris and scarves here?

On Maori land I see Hindu temples. 

Yet pink shiny scalped men in suits on stolen land cry
With every boat that ships to shore with the wood dry 

Who are they with their plumes of smoke
The birds cough cough and they let em choke 

          Kuia, do you know?
          Kuia you don’t speak english

A little white girl back on the lands
I’m a little white girl who has grown on sinking sands 

With it all cultures bleed and beckon in plea
Ice caps keep melting when parliament goes home

Tricks of Word

Kuia speaks in riddles
She pesters with her nakedness out on the dead end street
These are her drunken hiccups in what will
Be known as our truth
Her words wrap around what we have yet to realise
Here, she tell them now
Big eared children pressed to her thigh
They learn to accept that there is beauty in what is spun
She laughs, “Kuia has spirits inside her” 

North Island Women

Three Tangaharae sisters open their mouths
To swallow the capitalist’s journeyed views

“Our island has been betrayed!”
Unsettling those consciences whose acceptance was vague
Newspapers laugh that Polynesia Will! Go! First!
So their cries are hurled into armour by their tribe
One that all three sisters can fit inside 

Well bosomed they swing their metalled hips
And after they screech
Their fingers touch to their lips
To drag on butts of garbage sticks

Smoke staled meets the puff of the factory peeks
They watch embers burn the bark of the sacred Rimu Tree.


Rima Martens is a law student and writer from Sydney. She has been published on Sleep Pile, The Quarry and has begun writing for The Quo. She is currently studying in Montrêal.