Absolutely Anything





– opening a window –


I can’t fly without wings, we all know that,

if I jump from a height I might go ka-splat!

I’m not foolish enough to think I can fly,

but everything changes when I close my eyes…..

When I let my mind and body be still,

let go of the world and gather my will,

when I return unto the silence within,

I can do absolutely anything!




– a bright night sky –


When I sit in silence, I leap up high,

and suddenly I’m able to float and fly.

I no longer stand upon two hairy legs,

I have a tail of pretty feathers instead.

And my arms have become magnificent wings,

that take to the skies and ride the wind.

That soar through the sunset on into the light,

of endless stars in an endless night.


Interstellar clouds of space dust assembling,

new stars in the making form patterns resembling

a bright night vine full of sparkling fruit,

that I pick like grapes and turn into juice.

I gulp down the galaxies one by one,

till the whole entire universe is in my tum.

Yes that’s right, I even swallow the sun,

and become everything all in one!


But the butterflies they tickle my insides,

and the ravens fly out my eyes.

The frogs croak and leap from my throat,

and the monkeys tell such silly jokes.

So I laugh and the stars come spilling back out,

and all of creation pours forth from my mouth.

A celestial stream for time to travel,

a marvelous dream for life to unravel.




– embracing the human experience –


And when I return to my body and open my eyes,

I no longer have wings, so of course I can’t fly.

But I can stand upright and move and dance,

I can grow a garden, and eat the plants.

I can do intricate things with hands instead,

walk with light steps on two strong legs.

Find the worth buried beneath this skin,

and learn what it means to be human.


I’m a weathered old Navigator, wild and free,

exploring the world, sailing the seven seas.

Listening close for the secrets they keep,

for it is the treasure of wisdom I seek.

A full moon sways my open ocean, takes me by the hand,

leads me on the long tides, to the shores of far off lands.

To walk the sacred trails from the mountains to the sea,

to swim in the holy rivers and meet the ancient trees.


To hear the old stories from the few who still remember,

and meet with the medicine of great mother nature.

Still listening close for the secrets they keep,

for it is the treasure of wisdom I seek.

So I let my mind and body be still,

I close my eyes and gather my will,

and return unto the silence within,

where I can do absolutely anything!




– breathing underwater –


I tip toe across the moonlit crests of rolling waves,

chasing dolphins, playing games in the bay.

Diving under the surface, exploring the reef,

making friends with the colourful creatures I meet.

And when the wind howls, and the ocean’s a gale,

I dive down deep to swim with the whales.

They lead me down to the deepest of deeps,

down where the light it can not reach.


But I fear not the darkness way down in the deep,

the monsters down there are afraid of me!

If they give us trouble we’ll turn them to dust,

why the monster’s are all afraid of us!

If they try to bite us we’ll pull out their teeth!

But I try to be nice to the monsters I meet.

I prefer to leave them be, and go about my way,

I swim off somewhere else to find friends who want to play.


I prefer the company of sea slugs and turtles,

and a jellyfish who glows a phosphorescent purple.

The octopus, the stingray, the rare munglewurzel,

and my good friend the beautiful mermaid, Myrtle.

There are entire sea forests of sea trees and sea flowers,

full of all kinds of creatures with magical powers.

All these and other such wonderous sights,

the night’s so bright when you turn out the lights!




– now it’s your turn –


Well if I can do anything, then you can too,

it’s true, there’s nothing you can not do.

It may take a little practise, some getting used to,

but sooner or later, you will make it through.

If you just let your mind and body be still,

close your eyes and gather your will.

If you return unto the silence within,

you can do absolutely anything!



How The Sea Trees Saved Me




Have you ever thought it’s strange the way sea weed is called a weed? If I were a plant undersea I’d not be happy at all to be called a weed, would you? For a weed is a plant which you do not wish to grow in your garden, is it not so? Which is why the sea weed I know prefer to be called sea trees, you see, and there are sea ferns and sea fields of wild sea flowers and entire sea forests full of the most weird and wonderful creations imaginable. And it just so happens that the sea trees saved my life from being lost to the horizon, which is why they will forever have pride of place in my garden.


My name is Tai and I was born by the ocean not far from a family of Sea Trees, and I’m sure that’s how they know my name. From the day I was old enough to wander on my own, I would spend my days exploring the beach, making friends with the curious creatures who live along the shoreline. Climbing the ancient Pohutakawa trees which reach out over the water, searching for a salty kiss. I spent many happy hours splashing about in the shallows, dreaming of discovering the secret to breathing underwater. Oh how I longed to be able to join my kin in the ocean. From the moment I would wake my mind was sea side, my feet never far behind. “What about your breakfast?” Mum would call after me as I ran out the door. Before breakfast I liked to greet the day by standing on the sand dunes beside a stand of windswept harakeke, which was home to a familly of swallows. Together we would admire the sun rising out of the ocean.


On one such morning, Dad came to join me on the dunes. We stood in silence for a long while before he said, “the ocean is a powerful and mysterious being, Tai. It’s important you learn the way the ocean moves. If you understand it’s changing moods the ocean will let you know when and where you’re welcome in the water. Then you can become good friends with the ocean, and it will look after you as true friends do”. Dad drew me in and pointed to a spot where the waves were not breaking at all and said, “you see out there where there is a gap in the waves and the water is still? Where the way is calm and clear, that is the path our waka use to sail out passed the surf and into the horizon. Beneath those calm waters is a strong current which pulls with a force far too great to swim against. So you make sure you don’t go swimming there or you’ll end up out on the horizon, and we can’t have that, we need you here to help us build our waka so we can all sail out to the horizon together someday”. 


“It’s alright Dad, I’m not going to turn into a mermaid” I teased him. “I have tried many times, but I haven’t figured it out yet”. Dad laughed a little but I could see my joke wasn’t funny by the tears he held back and swallowed. I knew why he was upset, we lost my elder brother, Paua, to the Ocean. He went diving for kaimoana one day and never came back. He was a master carver and had great plans to build a mighty waka which could carry our whole whanau out to sea. He would get everyone so excited telling stories of what life would be like once we could sail the open ocean, the far off magical places we would encounter, and the huge fish we would catch to eat on the way. He lived and died in the sea, and his dream of building a waka was nearly forgotten until our younger brother took up an interest in toi whakairo. “Marino is learning fast aye dad” I replied to the silence. “I reckon he’s getting pretty good”. I saw my father’s eyes twinkle for a moment. He looked at me, lifted his eye brows, and smiled. Somehow thats all he needed to say to let me know that one day, with the whole whanau working together, we will build a mighty Waka that will carry us all safely out to the horizon.


That very night I had the most peculiar dream that my brother Paua came to visit me. He woke me from my slumber by tickling my face with an albatross feather. He was dripping wet and giggling, beckoning me to follow him outside. He led me out over the sand dunes, on to the moonlit beach and down to the waters edge, giggling all the way, and the very moment he touched the water the most miraculous thing happened. His feet began to grow and his legs sealed together and before my very eyes his whole lower half transformed in to a long flowing tail which shimmered in the moonlight. His hair and tail were radiant with the colours of a paua shell, and he had paua coloured tattoos all over his skin. He kept his usual head, torso, and arms, but his hands had grown webbed fingers, he grew gills along his neck, and a dorsal fin rose out of his spine. He turned to me with a cheeky look in his eyes that was very familiar, and dived into the water. He beckoned for me to follow and without thinking I dove in after him. Much to my surprise I found I could breathe underwater and that I could swim fast enough to keep up with Paua. We chased eachother through the reef all night until I heard mum calling me to wake for breakfast.


At first I thought it was absurd that I would be able to eat breakfast underwater then I woke in my room realising I had been dreaming. Only when I went to get up I noticed I was soaking wet, and my bed was saturated. I couldn’t figure out what was going on but I remembered mum saying I needed to put my sheets in the wash so I quickly bundled up all the wet bedding, put it in the machine, turned it on, and hopped in the shower. When I came out for breakfast mum was very impressed with me for showering and putting the washing on for her. I didn’t have the nerve to tell anyone what had happened, largely because I didn’t understand what had happened. Why was I covered in water? I tried to put the matter aside and go about my day as usual, but all day I couldn’t help but wonder, had I really been swimming with Paua last night?


The next night I was so excited to go to sleep, mum and dad couldn’t believe how early I got in to bed. I couldn’t wait to see if I would dream of Paua again, and sure enough, a similar thing happened to the night before. I met Paua giggling in the middle of the night, together we ran to the ocean and dove in. We spent the night chasing each other through the reef, only this time I had changed too. I grew an elegant tail just like Paua, and together we shimmered in the moonlight, radiant with all the colours of a paua shell. My hair turned Paua coloured too, and he told me I had a moko on my chin. We had a fantastic time together untill at some point I grew tired and decided to return to my bed to sleep.


In the morning my mother went to wake me and I wasn’t in my bed. They searched everywhere and couldn’t find me, they grew worried and began looking further afield. Eventually they found me down on the beach asleep on the high tide line, wrapped up in sea weed as if it were a blanket. They said I looked quite content asleep on the beach but they were very concerned and carried me back home. When they asked what had happened I tried to explain but when I began talking about swimming with Paua and our tails glistening in the moonlight, radiant with all the colours of a paua shell, they got quite upset and asked me to shower and get ready for school.


The next night I slept without dreaming of Paua, and awoke early in the morning to the sound of birds singing by my bedside window. It was cold outside so I wrapped up warm and walked out to the top of my favourite sand dune to watch the sun rise out of the sea. All along the bay the ocean was perfectly still. I was hushed and in wonder at the world around me, when I noticed a ripple out on the water, and out of the ripple rose a giant tail, the unmistakable tail of Tohora, the whale, rising up from the deep, reaching up tall and tremendous for a moment before disappearing back to the depths it came from.


I was so excited to see Tohora I couldn’t help but sprint to the water’s edge and scream “Tohora, e hoa, hoki mai ra!”. With a hopefull heart and my hands waving wildly in the air, I waited in suspense for ages and an age till my tired hands fell by my side. And at that very instant Tohora burst out of the water, head first and huge, leaping clear of the water and rejoicing in the light of the new day before crashing back into the water, sending a tidal wave of excitement throughout the bay. Soon afterwards I noticed something colourful bobbing in and out of the water. My eyes were a little blurry at the time, but the more I squinted the more it began to look like Paua, playing in the waves that Tohora had created. He turned to me, with long colourful hair and that cheeky look of his. He waved and smiled, beckoning me to follow him. I was so overcome with excitement I forgot everything I’d learned about being safe in the ocean, I rushed into the water in a frantic attempt to swim out and join Paua and Tohora.


I ran and dived and hopped and skipped and dived, scrambling my way through the water, searching for a glimpse of my elusive friends. At some point I stepped down to take another dive and my feet didn’t reach the sea floor, so I turned back to shore only to be met by a strong force pushing me in the opposite direction. A powerful tide grabbed hold of me and began dragging me out to sea faster than I could cope with. I tried to grow gills and a tail hoping I might be able to swim underwater but it wasn’t working like it did in my dream. I began to panic and looked back to see the shore was rapidly fading in the distance. That’s when it occurred to me, I was being taken by the tide that would carry me out to the horizon!


The further from shore I drifted the more I began to panic. Help!” I cried out, “Heeeelp!!!”. The more I panicked the harder it was to stay afloat, I was gasping for air and finding myself growing into such a state I have no idea what might have come next except at that very, blessed, moment, I felt a firm grip around my leg, and heard an ageless voice say “where do you think you’re going Tai? It’s not your time yet child, best you head back to shore aye”. And with that I was dragged against the current and passed to another firm yet gentle hand who held me, pulling me in and saying “don’t worry Tai, we’ll get you back on your feet”. “That cheeky brother of yours, tell Paua to leave you on shore where you belong”. “This is a place for Tails, not Two Legs”. And the next saving grasp would say something just as curious.


Wondering who it was that was being so kind as to come to my rescue, I ducked my head under the surface, and opened my eyes to find an entire forest of Sea Trees waving and smiling up at me, passing me from one helping hand to another. Somehow the Sea Trees made me feel at ease, the peaceful dance they do, swaying with the sea, willingly letting go while their roots hold fast to rocky foundations. While I came to grips with my surroundings my surprise saviours hauled me closer to shore along with their kind words, “you need a Waka for this tide Tai, you’ll get lost out here on your own”. “Come back when the waka is ready and we will guide you safely out to sea’’. “And bring your friends and whanau with you”.


And on it went in this miraculous fashion till I was delicately placed in the shallows, where I was able to stand on my two wobbly legs again. I stared out to sea in awe at the underwater world I had just visited and wondered what other fantastic secrets lay hidden beneath the surface of the ocean. I felt something brush my toes and looked down to find a perfect paua shell at my feet. Overwhelmed with wonder, I picked up the paua shell which I have kept and treasured to this very day. I heard mum calling me in for breakfast so I got home quick smart, darted in the back door, and ran to my room to dry off and get changed. When I sat at the table she smiled with approval thinking I had done well to wash before breakfast. I smiled and ate in silence.

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