Mepa Taufa-Vuni
New Zealand

Land is Poison

Land is poison
She bites wrongful hands
She strikes wicked hearts
She stings forceful minds

Her daughter died within a month
Her mother who wrongly registered her name
As the lawful owner of her brother’s land
Her mother who thought of it as a game
Her firstborn plucked too soon as son of Pharaoh
See said my kui land bites wrongful hands

Her husband danced like a mad man
Lost his mind too soon after the deed was signed
His wife’s motives too clever yet too conniving
Like Lady Macbeth and her deceitful determination
Her dear husband thought naked was the new fashion
Her children’s seeds were infertile as Mary Magdalene’s
See said my kui land strikes wicked hearts

His uncle decimated his other uncle
His father was locked in gaol for their safety
His grandfather who thought he was so clever
Forcefully took lands for his sons all over
Yet THEY paid heavily for his cunning deceptions
Their blood, their sanity, their minds – all GONE
Land is poison – She stings forceful minds
See said my kui land stings forceful minds

Plastic Pasifika Teina
(for Tash)

Can you hear the beating of our lali – our heartbeats
Sway your hips, move to the songs of our ocean
Let your hair down, cascading like our waterfalls
Can you feel our heartbeats, our rhythms, our lives
Can you hear our songs singing by our waves
Listen hard!
Let them speak to your heart Plastic Pasifika Teina

Our ancestors speoke my tongue for many years
Move your lips, speak it from your heart
Open your heart, feel the rhythms of our lives
Our whakapapa is speaking silently to you
Can you feel our talanoa, our stories
Can you hear our talanoa, told by our ancestors
Listen hard!
Let our tongues sing you a lullaby Plastic Pasifika Teina

Can you taste our ocean swirling in our whanua
Like a koru – a life that prolongs us
You can be like us Plastic Pasifika Teina
Speaking our tongues
Swaying our hips to our songs
Feeling the rhythms of our ocean
The beating of our hearts
Listen hard!
Listen well Plastic Pasifika Teina
Come home!
Foki mai ki ‘api Pasifika Teina

Finding a Partner
(Kumi ha’o hoa)

Touch your skin
Feel its smoothness
Feel its coolness
The paleness of your skin
Will be our tickets out of poverty
You’re our hope for a new world

Look in the mirror
Your face has been painted by one of our gods
Tangaloa’s strokes of his paintbrush
Has given you the lips of a goddess
Lips that will take us out of this shit hole
Lips that are made for kisses
Not of love my dear
Not of satisfaction I fear
Your kisses will be for his happiness 
Will be our tickets out of poverty
You’re our hope for a new world

You have been made by Tangaloa
To transport us to a new world
Our tickets to a world of richness
So my dear you need to dance for him
Do a hula to capture his heart
As of Salome to King Herod
Cook his favourite food always
As those are windows to his soul
Fluff your bosoms as his pillows
Weave your way carefully into him
His love will follow with bliss
And so are we into his possessions

Biography Mepa Taufa-Vuni
Tongan born Author and Poet, Mepa Taufa-Vuni, is a mother of four children and a wife to Siaosi Vuni. A graduate from the University of the South Pacific and the University of Auckland, she works as a maths specialist at Fairburn School at Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.

The Island - Rosie Whinray - 2015