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"Half Tree Hill"

To Mike Smith
"Half Tree Hill"

by Ross Himona November 1994
http://maorinews.com/writings/poems/onetree.html

to my friend Mike Smith who, on 28th October 1994, the anniversary of the 1835 Declaration of Independence, took a chainsaw to the one lone pine tree atop One-tree Hill (known to the Maori as Maungakiekie).

What I want to know
Mike, is when
and how our
Maungakiekie
became their
One Tree Hill?

What I want to know
Mike is just how
that one foreign tree
became so valuable
just how it came to be
six months' PD (PD = periodic detention)
worth of tree?

What I want to know
Mike, is that value
historical
economical
social
political
or spiritual
value?
Or is it just sentimental
value perhaps just
how dare that Maori do that
value?

What I want to know
Mike is what
the Pakeha called it
before the one lone tree
came along?
Six Tree Hill?
Five Tree
Four Tree
Three Tree
Two Tree
One Tree Hill?

Well Mike nearly
Nothing Tree Hill eh?
Not to worry
Half Tree Hill
will have to do
'til you finish the job
Mike.

What I want to know
Mike, do you still want me
to write a handbook for the Maori revolution?
Should I have
a chapter perhaps on how to cut down trees?
Properly that is.

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