Maraea Rakuraku’s ‘Allies: A Checklist’


Allies: A Checklist

  1. Associated always with some godawful Act of Aggression
  2. Hero swoops in
  3. Woman swooning
  4. War won


Allies:  A Checklist Revisited

  1. Try listening. Actually, scrap that just listen.
  2. i.s.t.e.n. P.a.k.e.h.a men.
  3. Especially you. Specially, special,specifically you.
  4. Alone this checklist applies.
  5. It doesn’t.
  6. It does.
  7. Feel that?
  8. Pissed off? Beset upon? Mis-judged? Angry? Emotional? Overly emotional? Guilty?
  9. You sure bloody are
  10. Look at you, looking at me, looking at you
  11. Assessing
  12. Is she educated enough?
  13. Articulate?
  14. Published?
  15. Literary?
  16. Poetical?
  17. Pretty?
  18. Hot, enough?
  19. Enough already.
  20. Whatever is what, I’m not – white man, white woman,
  21. E noho.
  22. You do you.
  23. I’ll – do me.
  24. Wāhine Māori ma, E tū

Ally: Definition

A country that has agreed officially to give help and support to another one, especially during a war:

If Patriarchy is the Country, Women are at war.

If Women is the Country, Patriarchy is the war.

Ally: Definition

Someone who helps and supports someone else.

Doesn’t takeover. Doesn’t redefine. Doesn’t reinterpret. Doesn’t tell you about you. Doesn’t tell you how you can do you better. Doesn’t make it about them. Just doesn’t.

Ally: Definition

Someone who helps and supports someone else by – helping and supporting, someone else.

  1. Ally from the Latin word alligare,
  2. Alligare – to bind to
  3. We, are bound
  4. To make it happen: Amirite wāhine ma?
  5. As for binding – be it feet, a relationship or “spiritually”. No.
  6. Means no.
  7. No – maybe. No – later. No – after dinner. No – because it makes you sleep easier. No.
  8. Nothing ever stops the Patriarchy from being itself.
  9. Through narcissistic old white.
  10. Men who yet again, tell me they know me better than I know my…
  11. Self actualisation, theirs, reflective in a world created solely by them
  12. for them. Not us.
  13. Selina Tusitala Marsh stretching across the Pacific through whakapapa and words following,
  14. Teresia Teaiwa, who did it first,
  15. Grace Molisa, before her. And the legions –
  16. Legends before her, not myths
  17. Truths
  18. Friend
  19. I ally you and your story
  20. and your telling of it
  21. not mine
  22. yours
  23. In solidarity.
  24. Shoulder to shoulder.
  25. An ally jimmies. There is room enough for two, for multitudes.
  26. Sister, the light is enough for us all. Come. Here. Join me. Join us.


Maraea Rakuraku



Musician and actor Moana Ete read this heart-stunning poem at the Wild Honey National Poetry event at Wellington’s Unity Books and you could hear a pin drop the silence was so deep.

Tonight I am celebrating Wild Honey in Palmerston North, and tomorrow I am heading from the airport to RNZ to talk favourite books, music, poetry and movies with Jessie Mulligan on the Bookmarks spot. It feels like this intensely wonderful time I have had drawing my new book into the world is moving into a different phase. I can retreat into my quiet life and do secret things for a while. Time to recharge the empty fuel tank.

It is utterly fitting to post Maraea’s poem that muses on the word ‘ally’. The past weeks have been a time of poetry friendship, of warmth, empathy and connections. I am so grateful to everyone who has attended and participated in the Wild Honey events.

And I am so moved by Maraea’s poem – it makes my heart sing.


‘Sister, the light is enough for us all. Come. Here. Join me. Join us.’


Maraea Rakuraku is an award-winning playwright, poet, short story writer, critic, reviewer and broadcaster who lives in Wellington and the Bay of Plenty. She creates work that investigates, examines, calls out and celebrates Te Ao Māori and our navigation of 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand.

Her thoughtful, fierce intellectualism, and grounding in her Tūhoe and Ngāti Kahungunu identity, is matched only by her heart and commitment to giving voice.

With Vana Manasiadis, Maraea is the co-editor of and contributor to Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Poets in Translation (Seraph Press, 2018). In 2018 she started a PhD in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Wellington.






Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s