by Kingi Gilbert  

Early in the morning before the the suns ra ys cross the sky
nanny and koro, rise up to go outside

but the tamariki johnyy and hine arent sleeping, 
they creep outside and start peeking

makariri te hau, its cold to the touch
on the horizon they cant see much

where did nanny and koro go?
hine asks her bro.

“kia ora tamariki” is koro’s warm glow

“we are right here, looking for  a star
te whetu o te tau, it’s not too far

ko matariki te mama o te roopu whetu
matariki is the mother of that star group

“why do you look for the star in the morning?”
because it the time we are learning, calling and fomring

what we will do for the rest of the year
what crops to plant and how to prepare

Back in the day there was no  april or may
just teh rising of the moon and the sun each day

we counted the moon shapes, every day of the year
to align our knowledge and when to take care

of gardens and creatures and spiritual things
taught by our tohunga, were many great things

these were the markers of the maori new year
and how we lived in the world connected right here:

“haeremai matariki i te po nei,
te whetu o te tau, te whetu o te tau
haere mai, haere mai, haere mai ra….

and just them on the horizon you could see it emerge, 
a cluster of stars on the verge

te iwa o matariki
the nine of matariki