shot glass
Issue # 3 January 2011
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Maris O'Rourke, a New Zealander, has been writing poetry for almost three years. She has been published in various issues of Takahe, Bravado 20, Shot Glass Journal and was the featured poet in November 2010 'a fine line'. She was the runner-up in the 2009 Auckland Sonnet competition with Auckland Coast to Coast; selected for a New Zealand Society of Authors mentorship program in 2010; and runner up in the 2011 Robert Burns Poetry Competition with War Survivors.

Māori: Protect this sacred mountain Japanese: Please do not enter the crater.

Maris O'Rourke

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This summer the cows are gone
Maungawhau an alien brown hump.

Tourists still spill from buses
ignore the signs in three languages.

Make new trails in the parched grass
swarm down the steep slopes into the volcano's throat

where I have never walked.
Taku maunga ko taku manawa.

Trample the food bowl of Matāoho
arrange ancient stones in cairns

or their names
K+S, Bibi, Will: in the dust.

Matāoho: The god of volcanoes
Taku maunga ko taku manawa: The breath of my mountain is my heart