I Grew Up Speaking


I grew up speaking

the mother tongue

of a motherland

that has been no mother

to me

I dreamt of inhaling

soil through my toes

and out my mouth

and filing for emancipation

I arrived

kete depleted

at Tāwhirimātea’s feet

begging him to

fill these lungs

make me breathe again

peel back this dichotomy

of skin and sense,

remind me of where

I come from

He obliged

and whakapapa landed

like dying suns

against my cheeks

I heard the karanga

as the earth

cracked open

swallowing me


Ataria Sharman (the founder of Awa Wahine) provides mentoring for wāhine who want to know their creative-calling and/or to start their own creative business. She can guide you step-by-step through your own creative process or how to create your own blog/website and/or social media accounts + social media strategy.

She is currently offering one free creative-mentoring session via Zoom to wāhine to help you step into your creative life. Click the button to take advantage of this amazing offer.