blackmail press 21
Tiana Wilson
Samoa/ New Zealand

crossed cultures - special issue

Creeping along the
Cultural divide
That is our nation
Trust no one,
They want your culture…………..
To store away.
Hey there
Taniwha of the land
What’s that you say?
I’m brown, baby
From my head to my toes.
I’m a Polynesian, baby
Browner than brown
Whiter than white
Because I’m an
Afakasi, baby
A little confused
Yet here to stay.
Hey you,
Taniwha of the land
You feeling a little
‘urban’ tonight?
You gotta stop crying
Your people sustain
Reign over themselves
I will pray for them
Not on them and
Think of all that they have lost
Because I’m an afakasi, baby
Their blood runs through
my veins too
Yet I’m still a
Inside and out

Hey, baby
Hey Taniwha
Why don’t you come
And give me a ride?


Don’t ask me to explain myself
I’m just a child in the house of God.
This place of origin
My shelter from all that exists.
These tears are real
They began in the beginning.
That moment when I first opened my eyes
And beheld this world.
And they began afresh
When I beheld this true world
My country
My Samoa.
I saw it as a tourist
First stepping out of one world
Of immersion
Into another,
A world of my dreams.
I think I can see my grandfather
He once walked here
A paramount chief of Samata.
His grave stands tall
I feel proud.
If only I could stay here.
The air seems alive
With the voices of the dead
The influenza victims,
The Mau,
Tamasese III.
There is anger here
But the feeling here,
The overwhelming sense is pride.
Pride for Samoa
Pride for her people
Pride for everything Samoa has stood for
And still stands for today.
And as I stand here in Apia
I hear them
The peaceful ones
Marching together
Unified under one banner.
Until their struggle for independence was heard
And I feel proud again.
I may not be your average Samoan
But it doesn’t matter
Because I know who I am
And I am Tiana Wilson
Granddaughter of the late Samata To’omata and Aserota To’omata.

New Zealand-born

The life of the New Zealand-born Samoan
Is a complicated one.
You see,
I live here,
In Nui Sila
Clean, green and prettiful Nui Sila.
And then?
Well I go to Samoa
And I stay there
For ten days or so.
And then I feel confused
Because when I have to come back here
My heart tells me it’s wrong.
Samoa pulls me back
Over and over
Until I have to leave
Or be torn in two.
And then I cry
ALL the way home
On the plane.
And no one sees
Because my heart is crying
Not me.

Tiana Marie Wilson is of Samoan, Maori and Pakeha descent. Her grandmother on her mother's side is from Malie and Afega and her grandfather is from Samata and Safata. Her grandmother on her father's side is Te Rarawa and her grandfather is of Scottish heritage. Writing has always been an important part of her life, and is her favourite way of expressing herself, although music and song writing are a close second. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in English and Ancient History.
Featured Artist Fiona Holding