Starlight Reserve

A poem by Rangi Faith

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Takapō, 2020

How shall we save this land
for our children,
how to fill again those empty, silent nights,
find those bodies lost to the air
and dead water,
hear the sound of the last bird
and the last whale
that looked up for comfort,
for shelter,
to the lighted vault?
How should we save this land –
where men have hunted well
and lain down under the sacred cloak of stars
swimming like a sinuous golden eel
across the darkness
from Aoraki to the sea?
How to turn and wonder
at the starlight
that glittered through the years
on untouched ice, the face of mountains,
on lakes of clear, clean water?
How should we save
this earth
for our children?

Rangi Faith (Kai Tahu, Ngati Kahungunu) lives in Rangiora, North Canterbury. Recent poetry is included in The Quick Brown Dog Journal (Issue 5, Identity/Tuakiri), Hagley Writers’ Institute, 2021, and Te Whakaako Toikupu, Teaching Poetry, edited by Vaughan Rapatahana (User Friendly Resources New Zealand, 2021). He is widely published in collections and anthologies in New Zealand.
‘Starlight Reserve’ by Rangi Faith is extracted with permission from No Other Place to Stand: An Anthology of Climate Change Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand, edited by Jordan Hamel, Rebecca Hawkes, Erik Kennedy and Essa Ranapiri. RRP $29.99. Available now in all good bookstores.

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