J.C. Sturm (1927-2009) was born in Taranaki and spent much of her life in the Wellington region, finally at  Paekakariki, where several of her family were living.  Her poems first appeared in student magazines in the 1940s making her the first Māori author in print.

Since the 1950s her stories, articles, reviews and poems appeared in several journals and anthologies in New  Zealand and overseas.
From 1970 until her retirement  Jacquie worked  in the Wellington City Library. Her book Dedications, from which this poem is taken, won the Montana Poetry Honour Award in 1997.  J.C. Sturm was the 1st Māori women to be awarded an M.A. and in 2003 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature by Victoria University of Wellington.


Good Friday


Claims the air tonight,
Blinds the outward eye
With needles of rain.
Rides the full tide in,
Pounding the mind’s beaches
Incessantly with Sound.


Old altars will be overturned,
Judgemental gods forsaken,
Guilt, shame, sin,
Of the innocent self,
Cast out as devils.


The sensual dream
Reveals another truth,
Preaches a different redemption.
Dare to sail
Its archetypal seas,
Steering by Venus,
Your landfall at last
A truly selfless shore.


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