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artivism ~ #lestweforget – te ngutu o te manu

translation : ‘the Beak of the Bird’

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every year we remember the queen and her god dam birthday.

it has no relevance to us and if anything, is a fucking insult.

her imported colonial disease ridden troops,

borrowed from all corners of the globe.

stolen from other countries and cultures they had killed off.

absorbing their people into their front line troops.

expendable i think they call them.

.

of this batch, came mongrels.

commemorated mongrels.

that have streets and parks named after them.

plaques and crosses erected in their honour.

scattered all over our land

stand their erections of dysfunction.

it reads the dead memory:

this cross is erected in memory

of the officers & men who fell or died

from wounds received near this spot

in engagements with the maori tribes on the night

of August 20th and the morning of

August 21st 1868 and on September 7th 1868.

and 1oo years on

they remembered tangata whenua

as an after thought they named one,

and mention those

who were not caught up in an engagement.

but were defending their lands.

their homes.

their families.

their right.

to live.

their turangawaewae.

it reads:

Te Ngutu O Te Manu

This domain marks the locality of the fortified village Te Ngutu o te Manu

which in 1868 was the headquarters of the Maori tohunga and warrior chief,

Titokowaru.

On 21 August 1868 it was attacked and partially destroyed

by colonial forces commanded by Lieutenant~Colonel McDonnell.

A second assault made on 7 September by a combined European and Maori force,

resulted in a decisive victory for the defenders.

Among those killed on this occasion was Inspector Von Tempsky

of the Armed Constabulary who led one of the three

detachments of the attacking forces.

and still its commemoration

is polluted with blaming language.

the type that makes the engage-ees

complicit in their own demise.

and places the perpetrator in a more

respectable, victorious and historic light.

but no mention, other than the word ‘village’

denotes the sanctity of this place.

the place; when your feet touch the ground

you can hear the children,

and the soothing song of their mamas.

where; as you brush your finger tips over the branches,

you can smell the blood.

the tears.

where you can feel the war cry.

where you can feel the strategy,

the survival.

in the sunshine and the rain

you can feel their voices

whispering their strength

whispering their lives.

you can feel their voices

raging against the invasion

standing under the power of their ancient maunga

and their beautiful tipuna.

#lestweforget

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activism ~ #lestweforget – ourselves

Oh how quickly we forget.

Whether its convenience, or guilt, I am unsure.

But if we care to look,

take notice,

the evidence is everywhere.

You wonder why there is concern?

Or why you are made to be concerned?

That was an idea bestowed.

You wonder why we are criminals?

Are blood thirsty?

An idea bestowed.

You believe that we are un-employable.

Lazy.

Also an idea bestowed.

You believe we lack the ability to move forward.

Forgive.

Another idea bestowed.

You believe our culture is primitive.

That we are mistrusting of rule.

Yes, Ideas bestowed.

You are uncertain of what we are.

Who we are.

So are we.

Both ideas, bestowed.

Although we were not as ‘native’ or naive

as they thought, by their conception of those ideas;

And we didn’t lose a single battle waged against us,

In the end we were overpowered

by numbers.

They didn’t ‘outsmart’ us,

they never could.

Instead they had to employ more

divisive

colonial tactics.

Tactics empowered by ideas.

Employed by even our own.

And we are still dismantling those ideas today.

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from Me

“You need to stop dwelling in the past and move forward”

a. You can’t move forward if you don’t know where backwards is.

b. Fuck off and mind your own moving forward.

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activism ~ #lestweforget – ‘strange fruit’

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is the fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Poem by by Abel Meeropol.

#lestweforget

reverse and flip

flipping the script

flipping that shit.

the narratives.

.

making inclusivity

and thinking outside the

proverbial box.

.

re-design and design.

making it easier.

highlighting and expanding

thoughts and actions.

.

rather than seeing disabilities.

.

what am i.

the excellence

i have become.

.

seeing things

through different eyes.

where enhanced behaviours,

are reconciliation.

.

coming to my realisation

that this is who i am.

 

i am not a victim

or even a survivor.

.

i am way more

than that.

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