my father's death

I watched my father                        die;
his lone last act
one anonymous evening.

there were no exultant angels
no perfumed pearly gates
swinging    w  i  d  e   their welcoming arms.

the young oldest son
there to witness
his shrivelled size,
the estranged demise
—astray the slim single bed,

                                                               in a spare   back   bedroom.

   the final
s u b l i m a t i o n,
the unique
death clatter
an uncanny

no poet could                                                         ever

Vaughan Rapatahana commutes between Hong Kong SAR, Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand. He’s widely published across several genres in Māori, English and other languages. He was a semi-finalist in the Proverse Prize for Literature in 2009, highly commended in the 2013 erbacce poetry prize (from 6000+ entrants), and won the inaugural Proverse Poetry prize in 2016, the same year as his poetry collection Atonement was nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines. His latest poetry collection is ternion (erbacce-press, Liverpool, England). Rapatahana has a PhD in existential philosophy from University of Auckland, on the novels of Colin Wilson, whom he has written extensively about and will lecture on at the Wilson conference in Nottingham in July, 2018. Rapatahana is also a language critic and instigated and co-edited English language as Hydra and Why English? Confronting the Hydra (Multilingual Matters, U.K, 2012 and 2016). He has also written commentaries for Jacket 2 (University of Pennsylvania), including a 2015-2016 series, and a new series currently in progress.

Poem source details >


Vaughan's Book Council page
ternion at erbacce-press
Why English? Confronting the Hydra

English Language as Hydra
Vaughan's publications at The Commercial Press
Vaughan's publications at Essential Resources
Colin Wilson's Lulu

Vaughan on NZEPC's Six Pack Sound
Vaughan's publications at User Friendly Resources
Toa at Atuanui Press