I’ve been working for some years now with a New Zealand theatre company based in London. We’ve produced new NZ writing, play readings, devised/made theatre, and are starting to look at our production for this year, a very physical, very London-based, very Aotearoa-inspired idea. Early stages.
One of the brilliant things about working with Shaky Isles (yes, a little ouch given this week’s events) has been meeting some great new theatre-makers.
Here’s a poem by one of them, playwright Sarah Robertson, that speaks, I think, to the peculiar sense of being at ‘home’ when you’re not at ‘home’, of always knowing there is a draw back, and yet still a pull forward, on into the rest of the world (something all young Antipodeans seem to know, in a way I’m not sure so many young Europeans or Americans have). That sense we have, even when we settle very happily elsewhere, of always being somewhere in between, especially when such sad events are happening as the Christchurch earthquake this week.

That’s My Home

New Zealand is bigger than I thought
Its vastness crosses oceans
It’s all the way through Asia
Weaving through jungles and market stalls
You’ll see it up on the Inca
On America’s highest sky rise
In the corner of the East End
Drinking a pint and holding an umbrella

It’s in those bedsits / hostels / apartments
In a backpack on a carousel
A bone carving around a neck
A tattoo on your skin
An accent different to the locals

It spreads its wings across the world
It sets its compass homeward bound
To our land of the long white cloud
New Zealand is there
And inside our hearts
Where we are
Where we go
Where we are from

© Sarah Robertson 2011