Black Crow

Hongihongi te Wheiwheia

Face the unseen – fear, worry and anxiety with courage

My son was abducted on the 17th of July 2018. He was sent to stay with his dad for a holiday in Perth WA and he never came home. After a long battle going through the International Child Abduction Act he was returned to our arms. I wrote this poem to during that time.


121 & Today

Day 1…“He’s not coming back you fucken bitch, don’t call me”

My son has been abducted!

It’s your brothers birthday today he turns 3 but no cake today, no celebration.

Today, I got my taa moko on my chest to my neck – rongo-A

It burns but nothing like my heart burns for you my son…..I cant breathe

Day 2… I tell them

They gasp

Hands over mouth

Head tilt

With a slow deep tone ‘I’m so sorry’

A moment for emotion

They gaze into my eyes

Tears? Don’t let them go…hold…This is awkward

Should I talk?

Day 3…It’s exhausting

I’m exhausted

A constant beat

Bashing my chest

Breath punched out of my lungs every moment

Day 8…It’s your birthday my son 9 years ago I birthed you at home, you didn’t leave my

side for months.

We were inseparable – you were me and I was you.

I karanga to you at Piha.

Day 10…Ready to run?

Did you think this? Did you do this? Did you do that?

Day 13…What caused this natural disaster?

No one saw it coming

No weather forecast

BUT the tohu was loud and clear

His dad cut the cord tied around my boys neck that held love embedded in pounamu,

tossed into the rubbish bin like a violent act of self hatred

Resentment of an absent māmā he wants to repeat with rage

Oh my boy, what has he done

Day 17…I presented today to a crowd of many – I showed a picture of you my son

Māmā yearns for you

My salty tears roll down my face.

Day 20…He’s gone

I’m here

Mornings these days filled with jam toast,

Long showers watering my soul back to life,

how is he, what is he doing?

Don’t ask, don’t know.

Day 37…Finally our court hearing in Perth.

Im not allowed to go “not in my best interest.”

I wait.

He’s supposed to be mine, he came from me, he is me,

this is all an illusion to the myth that Is projected that I have agency as a māmā.

Day 44…Not good news

His dad never turned up

They have set a new court date

Day 46…He has betrayed you

With no protection

My boys air filled with poisonous gas

Entering his lungs filling with hate

Day 50…At nanas whare today….It still hurts here too

Enjoy this coffee…I better not, I might forget something

I did forget something!!!

Day 55…What’s happening now?

Mind racing

Hand clenched

So much to do

Don’t skip a beat

Time is slow

Day 56…I present today to students I showed your picture again my son

Māmā yearns for you

My salty tears roll down my face.

Day 65…I present today to more students

I showed your picture again my son

Māmā yearns for you

My salty tears roll down my face.

Day 70…I’m exhausted

A constant beat

Bashing my chest

Ready to run?

Day 71…Conversation in the elevator

She complains

A light first world complaint

Not bothered

Both amused and torn

I stand in the elevator

She can’t see

My chest has been ripped open

My heart exposed to the world

No protection

Not even blood pools to hold the space

All dripped from my chest

Crusted on my skin

Like the desert floor

Day 72…I present to hospital staff

I showed your picture again my son

Māmā yearns for you

My salty tears roll down my face.

Day 80…My niece is born

Another cousin my son

I miss you

Day 89…I present to drug and alcohol workforce

I showed your picture again my son

Māmā yearns for you

My salty tears roll down my face.

Day 90…Im learning the logic of the legal system is to be hyper masculine,

That’s not logic that’s insanity.

Insanity to be asked to remove emotion

Let’s casually rip the human from my soul

Act like it doesn’t fucken hurt on every dimension

And be praised for holding it together

Fuck this!!!!

Day 104…I arrive in Perth

His dad wont let me see him

I watch him from the school gate

Playing in the sun

Dad holds me

Day 106…His dad wont let me see him again

I watch him from the school gate

Playing in the sun

Dad holds me again

Day 113…Today I will see my son after 113 days and nights

I look at your picture one more time

I didn’t cry today’

I wanted to….

The principal walks “he doesn’t want to see you, I don’t know what to do I’m sorry”.

I’m used to little oxygen these past few months,

my heart takes another punch.

She takes me to an office to call him in the other room,

we can see him through the glass.

We lock eyes, he looks down, uncomfortable,

we wave, blow kisses and he does the fingers back,

a fist and a finger across the throat.

My baby he’s torn.

We leave.

No more contact,

it’s too much on him,

I don’t want him put in this position.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be so exposed to hate that you push your māmā

away. 

Day 119…In the lawyers office she says…

My boys dad is going to represent himself

I’m going to be cross examined by him.

I had held it together till then but my tears welled up.

Day 120…Finally the court date arrives

12O long days and nights since I last had my boy.

We arrive early

My whānau all beautifully dressed up, fresh haircuts and flash shoes

Dad has no socks

Address her as Your Honour.

His dad walks into the room with his girlfriend following.

Looking nervous, a folder in had,

he’s shown to his seat – the lawyers position.

His girlfriend sits behind, she looks around the room our eyes meet.

She looks nice and caring.

My mum says ‘don’t look at him’,

I do anyway.

Surprisingly, I’m not angry or upset looking at him,

I see a nervous boy determined to get attention.

The judge walks in and we begin.

Judge explains The Hague Convention

Then he’s asked on what grounds does he contest.

‘grave risk’, and ‘child’s wishes’.

He’s asked to stand when addressing the judge.

he doesn’t want to stand, he sighs and mumbles.

I was told dont roll your eyes,

it’s really hard. 

My mum squeezes my hand.

He then confirms he wants to cross examine me. 

It’s my time,

I’m asked to walk to the stand, give my affirmation then sit.

I state my name, address and occupation, which I forget.

He asks if his assistant can move beside him, the judge asks who she is,

‘she’s my girlfriend’, she moves.

I then look over, he’s shuffling papers.

He looks up and sees my taa moko and forgets he’s by a microphone (or not),

‘what’s that shit on her neck’.

The judge reacts, ‘sir! no comments like that in this court.’

He asks ‘you went to his school to visit’.

huh that’s a statement not a question.

Judge ‘don’t answer that’, ‘that’s irrelevant sir’.

He says ‘this case is fixed, I got no more questions then’ in a huff!

I’m suprised , it’s over already…

I want to run back to my seat. 

Its break time, he walks out says loudly ‘lying bitch’.  

He returns, does the fingers, security are now sitting behind him.

Judge ‘I will reserve my decision till tomorrow

Bring the child to court and place him in custody of family services.

Day 121…Next day we return to court,

my whānau all surround,

I’m so grateful for them.

He’s late.

20mins later we are told he’s arrived with my son

I take a deep breath, nawww my boy you are here.

The judge enters she gives her judgement,

‘child is to return to NZ by midnight’.

MY BOY IS RETURNING WITH ME TODAY!

He’s upset, throws the paper away on the desk, his girlfriend cries.

All custody issues are to take place in NZ.

He says ‘don’t worry I’m going to fight this shit, it’s all lies, her evidence is crap’. 

I’m led to family services, I can see my boys dad saying goodbye.

He walks out and says ‘fucken look after him this time’,

I just smile back.

I walk over, the counsellor comes out

‘he wasn’t told this was happening so he’s in shock, come with me’.

I walk in I say ‘hello my darling’ and reach for him.

He runs to the corner of the room.

Three hours, two counselors, me and mum

He finally agrees to come with the promise of a toy.  

Today…I would love to celebrate and return to our life

but this event will forever change us.

My boy, the most innocent person in all of this has been affected the most.

My boy,

I will wipe every tear.

I will rub your back till you fall asleep.

I will tell you that you are enough just the way you are.

I will tell you it’s ok to be sad.

I will answer all your questions, reassure you it’s going to be ok.

You are safe, you are loved. 


At that time George was invited to be part of Louis’s Bakers music video which was re-released to celebrate mental health week. Not only a significant kaupapa but for our whānau a deep and meaningful one. Our boy is home safe now but we know the scars heal but will always remain.

“Black Crow symbolises being heavy hearted and out of control, but is hopeful in the sense that it’s also about embracing change and breaking free of negative emotions.”

Louis Baker

Please enjoy the video

Lyrics

Black Crow (L. Baker, S.Rusch)

Bathe my hands in indigo
Make me pure like the driven snow
Yes this world keeps turning
But it’s so hard to stay
On the bright side of the road
So make me smooth like a river stone

I can’t seem to shake the…
Black crow from my shoulder
Out here it’s so cold
These dark skies washing over
Wait for sunrise

Wish this black crow would just
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone

Take me from this thundercloud
Pull me up from the frozen ground
Yes this world keeps turning
It’s so easy to stray when you can’t see the love around
In this life there are things
That we just can’t be without

I can’t seem to shake the…
Black crow from my shoulder
Out here it’s so cold
These dark skies washing over
Wait for sunrise

Wish this black crow would just
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone

I can’t seem to shake the…
Black crow from my shoulder
Out here it’s so cold
These dark skies washing over
Wait for sunrise

Wish this black crow would just
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone

credits

released May 3, 2018
Vocals – Louis Baker
Bass – Louis Baker
Guitars – Louis Baker
Organ – Louis Baker
Produced by Steve Rusch
Mixed by Steve Rusch
Mastered by Dave Kutch (The Mastering Palace)

Published by Tākuta Teah

Indigenous woman, partner, māmā, sister, daughter, aunty, artist, story catcher/teller, researcher, evaluator and academic. I draw on these identities to express, connect and articulate kotahitanga, mana motuhake and aroha.

2 thoughts on “Black Crow

  1. I think I was kind of talking about this the other day when you asked me how my mum was… I talked about the wooden chest that I opened and found the old documents from the separation court proceedings of my parents.. The kids were playing around us.. I didn’t continue that mum had left NZ without Dad knowing… We moved to Australia and she changed our names… I was known as Tina Third.. It wasn’t until their divorce 10 years later at the age of 15 that I would walk into school to reclaim my name… Tia… Reihana… For years my Dad did not know where we were… the court papers that my mum kept all these years – shared the narrative of my Dads journey to find us… It was a reconciliation I never really had whilst he or my mum were alive… When I read the words that you have written when so many of our whanau share these heart realities.. I return to being a daughter… missing her father… wondering why he never came.. and then onwards making these narratives mean something about my own self worth.. that now as a mother myself I am beginning to unpack… What resonates is that you share your resilience and how you fought for your son… The strength and authentic vulnerability of how you share is healing… Thank you…

    Like

    1. Powerful my friend, the reclamation of your name, your story and the hurt that comes with love. I often think about if this is my story to tell as it involves my boy, would he be ok with it being shared as an adult. It has had such a profound effect on us and will continue to impact us for a lifetime.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

%d bloggers like this: