Remembering the Future

 

When my body is returned to Papatuanuku and
Ranginui holds me in his constellations.
When my being has found Hawaiki,
and only stories hold me to this plane of existence.

Who I want to be remembered as
will be weaved into many narratives,
collected in a multiplicity of whispers
found in a myth I’m not sure will ever end.

When I am gone,
I hope each memory of me
stands in opposition to oppression;
to those who are apologists for a broken system.

May my legacy be placed in something
Bigger than myself.
May it be affiliated with movements so large
new disciplines are created to comprehend them.

May it start in the academic abstract,
and trickle into the concrete.
In time. May it exist.
But, if I should not

If our movements
do not gain enough traction
to change the horizon before I become a memory
then at least, let it be known…

I will not be remembered as a Pacific Uncle Tom.
I will not have my abstracted image stray
any further from my identity than it already has.
I will to my last breath, remain present for my communities.

I will not be remembered as a noble savage.
I have sacrificed the ‘noble savage’ to the pagan gods –
let the nobility bleed out of my veins
until all that remained were our indigenous truths.

I will not be remembered as a bootlicker.
I will throw spanners, monkey wrenches, and any object present-at-hand
in the works.
I will not go quietly.

If this future I see,
the beautiful love affair of
Indigenous Futurism and an allied Western Front,
should need a sacrifice to see the light of day

A forgotten martyr,
To die on the pyre and ignite the flames
ushering in something worth being remembered.
Then I accept this burden, may I be remembered.

About the author
Eric Soakai is an Arts/Global Studies student at the University of Auckland. He enjoys country music and long walks on the beach where he can discuss Phenomenology, Indigenous Epistemology and Essentialism. One day he hopes to get 1.5k+ followers on Insta (@soakaiser) or complete his MA... the Masters in Arts is looking more achievable though.
Ode to You

An early morning phone call,
An evening walk in the trees,
The beginning / the end
of a six-month chapter

Never had I known a Pain like this –
Stomach-churning, mind-consuming,
My arteries straining
With each pulse of memory

But now I feel them – my whānau
Anchoring me, their roots
Enfolding / branching across space
So his soul-shards may dance on

Your worldly body has become my home
My mind the life-long occupant,
My softness is not weakness
It’s what makes me you

Together, our heart (心)
A relentless force
Beating out into the universe

About the author
Amber Chang is currently a Masters student studying Social Cognition at University College London. Born in New Zealand with a Taiwanese heritage, her understanding of the world constantly shifts and evolves with every new ‘home’. She is fascinated by the forces underlying human behaviour and aims to use this human-centred approach to improve societal problems, such as those surrounding gender and education.
The Pull

Restless.
The undefinable tug for new challenge, to know what is beyond, what will become.

Does it pass through blood?
Ancestors were restless enough to travel the Earth, optimistic that what they carried in the wits about them was enough to be transformed.

Is it human nature, this twitch that holds in it aspiration?

Is it courage? The strength to hold that the future is not lost when loaded with the need for change.

Or is it evil, the anxiety, the discontent that blocks the present, consumes thoughts, makes fools?

Some call it the hand of God, the will of the almighty to direct us where we are supposed to be.

To feel it is to be beckoned. Summoned by the future. Pushed away from complacency, mediocrity, towards the better, to who you want to be.

Hope is hauled by the restless, pulled by small steps, big urges.

Impossibly heavy burdens made somehow light.

About the author
Chelsea Houghton is a mother of five children who is legitimising her writing for escapism through studying an MCW. She lives in North Canterbury, NZ. Her work has appeared in Mimicry, X-R-A-Y Literary Journal and Flash Frontier.
Grown-ups

(a) Use friends as rulers

run your pen along their spines

hold the world against them

to see if it lines up

 

(b) Treat life like mystery murders

pinned to a corkboard

connected with red string

pull it forward with hooked finger

and trace back to find the culprit

 

(c) Measure past distance

with a squinted eye and raised thumb

recall how you wanted to be

an astronaut horse-rider

writer fire-fighter

 

What you want to be when you grow up

(a) refers to career not being

(b) distinguishes between career and being

(c) asks you to plan a career trajectory

 

Trajectories are for sling-shots

and textbook parabolas

they do not plan where to go

but go still

 

Grow up means

a point at which growth ends

before you get to end

see how you can grow down or sideways

 

Stand against your own marked wall

with dates scribbled next to pencil lines

on tippy toes, ask yourself

am I taller? 

have I grown?

About the author
Gabrielle McCulloch is a student at The University of Auckland studying English and Politics. She writes poetry, shorts stories, personal essays and whatever else she wants. After living in Auckland, Aotearoa her whole life, Gabrielle recently fell in love with her city. She is excited about discovering what New Zealand poetry and art is, and what it could be.