Keith Nunes lives in tiny Pahiatua (New Zealand). He won the 2017 Flash Frontier Short Fiction Writing Award, has had poetry, haiku and short fiction published around the globe and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee. His Foto-Poetry digital images have appeared in a number of literary journals. His book of poetry/short fiction, "catching a ride on a paradox", is out there.
Outside the urupa
In February, the brother of January, we stand outside the urupa
leaning against the dense dank air
Rawiri, the brother of the messianic pastor,
points and I squint
as the hawk peels off over the estuary and down
disappearing into bush then riding the wind with prey
A man named Tipene recites poetry
at the gate telling his fallen friend
where to find the food pouch
and "don't stay silent too long"
When the coastal breeze lifts ponytails
and the evening reddens like the pohutukawa
Rawiri and me promise not to go anywhere
without the other –
# An urupa is a cemetery.
# Hawaiki is the legendary Pacific homeland of the Maori people from which they travelled to New Zealand and to where their spirits are believed to return after death.
# Pohutukawa is a native New Zealand tree which has a brilliant display of red flowers made up of a mass of stamens around Christmas, hence the 'NZ Christmas tree'.