Nephew of Tangaloa

And a friendly reminder, as of April 2017, my first collection – BONE INK – is available here. This is one of the poems that didn’t make it into the collection.

Nephew of Tangaloa

Island Curse
Last words of my father,
“We are worms squirming
on stones broken
by Tangaloa, people of the sand
and water, hearts like fish
gliding. You are cast from this.
Be hollow
until the light of angānga sings
a voice from the ghosts
in your blood.”

I said, bullshit. I was nineteen
and didn’t care.

The shell of a mussel, the beach midden,
yam, winnowing a muggy joy.
I dream them
coal charred banana leaf
cloudy water, the medicine
of my land.
I dream them
Here the cars run tunnels
through my thoughts, I wait, I hold a wife
who will never see my mother,
and rule children who carry
dull whispers of my blood.

A creature sits; a colour
darker than my blood. A paring
knife in his talons, shivering
cut nails across the floor,
each razor moon
a curse. He clips again
and begins to sing.


An old poem, originally posted at The Doctor T J Eckleburg Review in 2013. Wrote it for a guy I worked with, he talked all the time about not being able to go back to the islands.

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