Vaughan Rapatahana

Vaughan Rapatahana

Vaughan Rapatahana‘s most recent poetry collection Atonement, was jointly published in Macao and Hong Kong last year and separately in Philippines earlier in 2016. His initiated and co-edited language critique Why English? Confronting the Hydra (Multilingual Matters, U.K.) is due out mid June, 2016.

“My son committed suicide in 2005, aged 29. Poetry is the vital way I deal with a loss that will never depart me; that keeps him alive.”


me tangi, ka pā ko te mate i te marama
Maori: ‘let us weep, for his is not the death of the moon’

it’s ten years now
& still you escape me.

as your sister births
her son
I have only photos of mine;

st utt er here and there
a c r o s s our
stoic walls,
like an affliction

they are all liars,

a pastiche of
the days you
conspired to outrace me,
overdrink me,
elude me,
the absent father.

it’s ten years now;

as I last saw you –

that brute room,
that ignorant coffin
& that f a r a w a y stance
your eyes.

First published takahe 87
August 2017