Despite Meena

Despite Meena’s temper and rhubarb politics 
there is hibiscus to yell its colour at passers by

Manihiki’s black pearls and Maungatea to climb.
Despite Tom Davis gone the Sheraton money 

gone there are rich fields of taro the reef roars 
assurance all day and Mike Tavioni sculpting.

Despite imports Takitumu’s bad luck and too 
many cars there’s Kauraka’s stories movies on
at the Empire and market day raw fish and rukau.

Despite talking to strangers about loans plane fares 
going up and sons not for the return home there is a 
song at the airport Trader Jacks and Emily’s t-shirts.

Rob Hack was born in Invercargill in 1953, spent his boyhood in Niue and has lived and worked mainly in Wellington and various locations around Australia as a fencing contractor, insurance salesman, builder, lawnmowing contractor, personal trainer, greenkeeper and factory worker among other things.

Hack comments: ‘Written following a series of cyclones hit Rarotonga in 2005 soon after my first visit there, the poem contrasts natural and manmade events in Rarotonga’s recent history with a simpler more sensual view of life on the island my mother came from.’

Poem source details >



‘Togo chasm’ in Turbine 2011
‘Taking Mum Back to Raro in 2002’ in 4th Floor Literary Journal 2008