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The Shadowgrapher 

 

 

As a child,

 

the shadowgrapher

 

held the silence of light 

in the small frame of her being.

 

Inside this gentle

Theatre of Childhood 

 

her twilight

made the best shadows,

 

as she pulled and shaped

the darkness,

 

away, and towards the light.

 

Her hands,

always travelling

 

towards the 

future of her innocence.

 

Fallen from the feather gods —

 

ephemeral yet eternal,

 

she moves towards life

in delicate strength and power —

 

bears the grief of the ancients 

as everlasting shadows thrown on the wall.

 

In the quiet cosmos

of her body,

 

she carries Norfolk’s heartbeat.

 

It beats against her spine —

 

the shaft of a feather 

nestled safely in 

 

The Tui-hana —

 

The Soul Reposing Prayer Wind

 

that makes holy 

the ground beneath her feet.

 

The consecration of all gentle and good things.

 

For —

 

she is the 

 

Spirit of the Afterfeather,

 

who guides this quill 

to paper,

 

as words of shadow —

a timeless silhouette.

 

Now —

in the deep knowledge of

 

The Atua 

 

The Sacred Always —

her Mana holds space for

 

The Seated Glory of Norfolk.

 

She places her hands towards the light —

 

wrist to palm,

to finger,

 

to the stars.

 

Then we can see for the first time —

 

 

The White Terns

 

fall 

 

from feather to wing,

to pine — to land on the branch of 

the first breath of our longing.

 

 

The Grey Fantail

 

as a lead shimmer of fire, the ashes of a nocturne,

the tiny embers that form a fan —

 

away and upwards — and upwards —

 

ascending beyond the arc of a dream.

 

 

The tip of a finger that forms a raindrop,

dark water hidden behind the small glow

 

of eternity,

 

that cleanses our days set before us.

 

 

The Norfolk Ocean 

 

that falls below and beyond 

her shade of shoulder and elbow,

 

to form the basalt beneath 

our last midnight.

 

Darkness sings in her chant,

that last precious thing

 

in the silence.

 

For it is in her incandescence,

that we see

 

for the first time.

 

Yet we can never touch her shadow,

 

as she pulls and shapes

the darkness,

 

away, and always —

 

towards the light.