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Sport 35: Winter 2007



This is the truth of it: Icarus was dead set on seeing whether the
Wa Hine existed—that's why he took off one day.
His father had said: If you go, you'll need the constitution to
match—a strong will, a top navigational ability.
If you are successful, you can be whoever you please
—discoverer, inventor.
Then again, should you fail, you'll fall into the sea and drown.
You could breathe some life into these though,
glue new feathers into the empty spaces—
kiwi will do, moa would be better.

The trip was not easy. Twisters and tsunamis threatened Icarus at
every turn. His wings drooped under the weight of monsoons.
But he managed to remain airborne until he reached the Miramar
peninsula where a storm, perhaps even a cyclone, was blowing.
Icarus was tossed onto the paths of uprooted trees and roofing iron,
stray doors, and pots, and seaweed.
He got lost in laundry,
he tired, he sank.

Fishermen who'd been called to the siren's aid came across Icarus
bobbing in the water around Barrett's rock;
his wings spread about him. Mr Rawhiti pulled him up.
He said awesomely: what a kalo kahu huruhuru,
a fine feathered cloak.
He said: a Chief's son.