About twilight we came to the whitewashed pub
On a knuckle of land above the bay
Where a log was riding and the slow
Bird-winged breakers cast up spray.
One of the drinkers round packing cases had
The worn face of a kumara god,
Or so it struck me. Later on
Lying awake in the veranda bedroom
In great dryness of mind I heard the voice of the sea
Reverberating, and thought: As a man
Grows older he does not want beer, bread, or the prancing flesh,
But the arms of the eater of life, Hine-nui-te-po,
With teeth of obsidian and hair like kelp
Flashing and glimmering at the edge of the horizon.
© James K. Baxter