A farewell to the fallen people like you, bro

''Hey, Tei!''

''Yeah?''

''Bring the uke! I wanna jam!''

Wow, the clouds are awesome now that the sun's going down. I bet you miss these, Shay.

Remember how you loved lying on the deck and staring up at the sky as the sun set?

You said they were white waves crashing into each other, slowly ageing with colour and moving on at their own pace.

Bro, you would've made the meanest poet, but now I see what you were on about in a different way.

It's like me and the others; we're clouds and always moving, ageing with experiences that change us in many ways.

No matter what happens, Shay, we gotta stick together. I don't wanna crash now you're gone.

We're at the beach now. The fullas are walking across the bank, grabbing driftwood and chucking it on to a pile.

Looks like we're gonna make a fire - mean.

Now Hemi lights it up and Tei starts jamming on the uke.

Bro, he's awesome at that, aye.

I remember him telling me about you two and your jamming sessions after kappaz!Haha - Aunty Shay still rocking the boys!Jokes, bro, jokes.

Anyway, he's into it with a passion.

It's like his way of remembering you and the way you sang to his tunes.

Bro, he fell hard for you, aye.

''Hey, Tei.''

''Yeah?''

''Chuck us one of those old songs from kappaz, aye. I feel like singing, bro.''

Murmured agreement from the fullas.

''OK, bro. He wawata?''

''Aye, let's do that one.''

''OK, uh ... one ...''

Kei whea ra koe? Ma wai ra koe E whakahoki mai?

Where are you? Who will bring you back here?

I'm really getting into this, Shay.

This song farewells the fallen people, those like you who have been taken from us. It promises that we'll meet again someday.

Bro, you should hear us.

The lilting melody is filled with feeling and our voices blend together better than the colours of the rainbow.

The love is glowing off these fullas, bro, from the fire that is you.

Thanks a lot, Shay.

I know you didn't mean to, but in a way you kind of pulled us closer together than before.

When you fell, we fell, but the strength and living memory of you were enough to bring us up, one by one, out of that dark hole.

Thanks for always being there for us, bro.

Love you ... Ma nga tai e haruru neiI waho o Rangiuru.

He moemoea, he wawataMe kite wairua.

Let the raging tides do so outside Rangiuru.

A dream, a yearning to see you in spirit form.


• By Junior Kopa, Year 13, Blue Mountain College

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