Hinemoana by Stacey Teague

By Wasafiri Editor on June 15, 2021 in


in the far-spread ocean solitudes 


Hinemoana hides herself so perfectly 

in the fold of the tide 


she thinks she would prefer to stay untethered 

so moves from place to place 


Hinemoana is a blue hallway 

with no adornments 


she is a backlit expanse 

something to be caught adrift in 


Hinemoana is not something to take possession of 

she might let you climb into the house of her body 

but you will not return from there 


Hinemoana dreams of biting down on flesh, viscera 

spitting out bone as she goes 


her desire is more likely to destroy 

than to save 


she erodes the land with her wildness 

only to appear as a footnote in someone else’s story 


she sees herself in the surface 

it gives her pause 


she does not recognise herself 

a mirror reflecting another mirror 


Hinemoana begins to notice 

life growing inside her 

aglow in the darkness 


when the baby is born 

she gives it as a sacrifice to the sea 

slips the pink lump into the bloody water 


like an anchor to the sea floor 


Stacey Teague (Ngāti Maniapoto/Ngāpuhi) is a writer and editor from Aotearoa New Zealand. She is the poetry editor for Awa Wahine, has her Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and has one book, Takahē (Scrambler Books, 2014) and two chapbooks, not a casual solitude (Ghost City Press, 2017) and hoki mai (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2020). 

Wasafiri 106: the Water issue is out now.