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.