Sunday, 3 February 2013


They say diabetes is a silent killer
a thief in the night
that creeps up to you like a moetolo
embracing you against your will 

but I saw him coming
in the WTO siusiu pipi and mamoe
and 5 cans of coke I had
before lunch

I saw him coming
but in my Samoan pride
I scoffed.

laughed like it was a fale aitu

and said

aga ou te le fefe i le oti.

They say diabetes is a silent killer
so we don't say much about him
as we shovel suka into our koko alaisa
and sneak off to shove a needle in our stomach

and when he strikes
and takes my eyes
                      my teeth
                               my legs

I will say

the Lord works in mysterious ways

and be praised

for my faith.


I don't have diabetes. Yet.  But when I hit 99kg I knew I was staring at it, and a whole lot of other heath problems, down a barrel. 99kg is severely obese for someone who is 5'6.  And no amount of telling everyone, especially myself believing that I have 'big bones' or that the BMI is different for Polynesians is going to change that.

Sia Figel's bravery in speaking out about her very personal struggle with diabetes showed me how we all have to speak out and own that our health statistics are a tragedy. It also showed me that I have to take action to not be one of them.

Sia was brave enough to put this harrowing and very personal video on youtube, to show us her very roots, literally.  I watched it.... right through. Because if some is brave enough to share this sh@#, to say 'F%#$ pride, this my friends, is diabetes, take a good hard look', I will honour that, by watching it right through. I hope you will too.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Lou sei

I love that white flower
in your long black hair

I imagine I can smell its scent
though I am standing
across the street
It is salt and sun
like the backs of my forefathers
who refused to bow

I love that white flower
in your long black hair

It speaks to me
in soft vowels saying

you are

quietly confident

in who

you are

and where

we are from

I love that white flower
in your long black hair