Thursday, October 24, 2013

Talanoa Pasifika and Konai Helu Thaman

You, the choice of my parents 
You come clad in your fine mats and tapa cloth
Your brown skin bursting with fresh perfumed oil
Your eyes shining like stars in a clear night
YOU, the choice of my parents
You will bring them wealth and fame
With your western-type education
And second-hand car
But you do not know me, my prince
Save that I am first born and have known no other man
I fit your plans and schemes for the future
But you cannot see the real me
My face is masked with pretence and obedience
And my smiles tell you that I care
I have no other choice

And the dancing has begun
I see myself dying slowly
To family and traditions
Stripped of its will and carefree spirit
Naked on the cold and lonely waters
Of a strange family shoreline
Alienated from belonging truly

I love as a mere act of duty
My soul is far away
Clinging to that familiar ironwood tree
That heralds strangers
To the land of my ancestors
I will bear you a son
To prolong your family tree
And fill the gaps in your genealogy
But when my duties are fulfilled
My spirit will return to the land of my birth
Where you will find me no more
Except for the weeping willows along the shore
Professor Konai Helu Thaman

This poem makes my heart sing, weep, lament but also joyful. ...I could see that willow weeping in mind.
One of the poems that I actually enjoyed reading, reciting and trying to outdo each other (siblings) in looking the part of a young beaut about to fulfill her duties. I was the best one of course. 
Nah, not really, but CJ did use this as her talent....amazing!...will look for the pics to post next millenia. 

Now...speaking of Konai, she will be the Guest Speaker at the upcoming Talanoa Pasifika Conference in Brisbane.
20- 23 November 2013.
Like the Talanoa Pasifika Facebook page to find out more about the conference!

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