Peace train returns from its mission
packed with pilgrims
who've been to the Pa
to celebrate the prophet's birthday.
I am amazed over three days
by the stories of how things were
and the sense of what might be.
Tradition has left barren ground
But the Morehu Express is coming to town:
Smiling whanau faces from four corners:
want to have their say
looking for hope and a better way
Little miracles and mysteries unfold
as the faery lights fade into the west coast hills.
Rainbow around marama and starlight
"New moon, warm night."
The Mangai - mouthpiece
Calls for unity again.
First to the tangata whenua,
then all of Aotearoa;
The message echoes like seven brass bands
marching 'round Jericho's walls.
in one hand
ancient treaty in the other.
The ploughman with the prophet's mantle:
planted seeds of promise long ago
to be harvested in the third generation.
Over three days and nights
Ratana Pa became a swamp village
Cleansing rain fell solid
then ceased at celebrations end;
wild wind blew the place dry
- wind of the Wairua Tapu,
calling a new generation
to throw away their crutches.
-Keith Newman 1986