The Rising Of The Seas

Earth’s rocky rifts thrust up
our young islands, millennia
clad their rugged ridges with
vast verdant swathes of forest.

Several centuries ago Maori
arrived in ocean going decked
double canoes along our coasts,
travelled through deep forests
built villages large and small
on hill tops, peninsulas, beside
lakes and sandy beaches.

Many an urupa, sacred burial
site was established near sandy
shores where loved ones’ graves
final resting places were dug.

Over the centuries the urupa
were remembered, the names
often forgotten as tribes moved to
new hunting and fishing grounds.
Once the white man’s missionaries
came Maori started to mark graves
with headstones bearing names, dates.

Then the twenty first century’s
tumultuous storms eroded beaches,
banks, cliffs, strewing bones from
ancient graves along stormy beaches.

Who will bury them again ?
how ? Where ? Today’s descendants
must bring themselves to decide.


The Rising Of The Seas

12 thoughts on “The Rising Of The Seas

    1. They are working on it, but in some areas where the original populations have since shifted, split up, merged with other groups, it is hard to reach a consensus. Also in some areas the different groups have no land far enough away from the sea, and are trying to negotiate with local bodies for the use of publicly owned land. There are also some groups whose burial grounds are safe for now, but may not be in the relatively near future, so they are working on solutions now. On the whole the Maori used separate marked graves with headstones from mid 19th century onwards, so we re looking at very old burial grounds here.

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  1. While in the realm of fiction, here. Thanks for another splendid poem! The estimation since 2015 is oceans rising at 3.4mm per year? .. Maybe? I doubt ancestor worship has much to worry over for a few thousand? Maybe?
    For centuries we were taught reverence for those deceased and interred? Yet archeology rips them from the ground, then left on shelves for years/ My own feelings are to leave them in the ground and the history or scientific evidence? I can do without. Cheers Jamie

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  2. Climate change happens all the time. It is natural. The connections to our sun, a star and others, is well documented. Change due to human activity? Sure some. Like chopping down most of the world’s forests for one industry or another, etc. But CO2? The normal, if there might actually be a “normal” one. Because it fluctuates to some degree. Is 400ppm. That is quite small. Our world is made from carbon we are all carbon-based life forms. Not silicone. Which would be an alternative life form. Now the connections to our sun and others occurs through electrical charge throughout the cosmos. Our solar system is moving too, relative to the centre of this galaxy. Right now we are leaving a protective magnetic shield of dust, into one more prone to plasma and electrical discharge; into our atmosphere. It might be why ancient cultures, built below ground? Cheers Jamie

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  3. Surely “Climate change because of CO2” is more so..? It is a complex subject and I do not pretend to know more. Before anyone makes comment on climate change, they should really understand the nature of it? Politicians want to promote climate change, to introduce taxes on us. That’s their main solution? Taxation! To a problem that is really not happening.
    Is a starting point to understand.
    For news about our sun.
    Cheers Jamie

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