Kia Kaha Christchurch – Our Hearts Go Out to You

A Poem by Anita Britto as the Nation mourns today

Auckland, March 22, 2019

Kia Kaha Christchurch – Our hearts go out to you
United we will stand strong – through this crisis we’ll pull through
Proud to be a Kiwi – On our darkest day
We’ll rise and heal together and hold hands while we pray

Christchurch we are with you – with our siblings who have died
This tragedy has shocked us but we are unified
A coward killed our brothers and our sisters while they prayed
And there’s feelings of sheer helplessness but we are not afraid

We condemn these acts of terror and reach out to Hagley Park
With Endurance and Compassion we will come out of the dark
While there’s disbelief and anguish and a lot of pain
Our spirit will not falter despite an act insane

“Beware the ides of March” they warned when Caesar reigned in Rome
The hallowed land in Hagley Park became a funeral home
15th of March in Kiwi Land was tragic and heart breaking
That we never will forget this day – there is no mistaking

Christchurch – you were rattled when an earthquake struck you down
You were rocked but you proved that “Rose” was a verb not noun
6.3 on the Richter scale – And yet you didn’t submit
You stood firm like Gibraltar – with fortitude and grit

I know we have our fault lines but I know we do not lack
Empathy and Caring – Our Crusaders will bounce back
We’ll guard Pacific’s Triple Star – led by our own Jacinda
Change policy on gun laws – And we’ll do it with Ahimsa

Like a Phoenix from the Ashes – All of us will rise
For hateful crimes of violence – we wholeheartedly despise
While many can pontificate they cannot walk the talk
Like this tiny nation Down Under who shepherds all her flock

In this mosaic of cultures we’ll live in harmony
Be it Puja – or Namaz – or the Rosary
The Church, the Mosque and Temple teach and preach the same
That Hate and Pride are sinful and are vices we should tame

When I chose to immigrate in 1997
The land of the long white cloud sounded just like heaven
Men of every creed and race live the Kiwi dream
God’s own – this has to be – Where Kindness reigns supreme

From our Northern Cape Reinga to the tip of Invercargill
Humanity is in our genes – our only choice is goodwill
Christian, Sikh or Hindu, Non-religious or Muslim
Bloodshed is not our answer – it’s never terrorism

In this hour of chaos led by Our Ardern
In solidarity we stand – We are the Silver Fern
With fearlessness and courage, lead us on she will
Our lady in the Beehive is resilient, strong and still


Anita Britto is a Resident of Auckland.

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