Tangi: A Letter to Richard Berengarten

     Who'll braid peonies into our brook
     One for each soul Death took  - Richard Berengarten

Winter draws to a close, and the first rays of spring
remind me that Persephone is trapped still,

and on the surface our prayers are
for the Māori Queen, as she is laid to rest

at the foot of her maunga.
Today it would seem

like there is now a time of drought
so eloquently put in your book.

We too are in need of a Dodola  but instead dance
her way, in leaves, through our Winter

leavening the cold, the dark that momentarily settles
allowing Persephone to shed her tears, the people to grieve.

Poem © Mark Pirie, 2006

Dodola = Serbian rain-maiden
maunga = mountain
tangi = funeral or time of mourning