Saturday, October 12, 2019

Staring at Mokoia


In 1823 hundreds of Arawa abandoned their island pa Mokoia to Hongi Hika's muskets, & swam towards the shore of Rotorua. Some tired, drowned; others were hauled aboard pursuing waka. Now, through the Gallilee window of St Faith's church, we watch Jesus escape without getting wet. 

I stare at Mokoia and imagine an infinite regression. The island sits in Lake Rotorua, in the middle of a larger island, a larger sea, but it contains the warm Hinemoa's Pool, where Hongi Hika and his taua lolled after their 1823 conquest. I imagine that pool containing its own island, which in turn holds a small lake...

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