Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Lament

Oi aue

In Samoan love stories

We would turn into

Turtle and shark.

Nature tells us

One will consume the other.

Oi aue

In Samoan love stories

Sina’s prince is an eel

And happily ever after

Is when her beloved

Is beheaded

Transformed into a niu

So she can finally (safely) drink

His sweet sweet juice.

Oi aue

In Samoan love stories

Men chase beautiful white women

Into woods

and are never seen again.

And one

blessed so that he could not lose in battle

was beguiled by beauty

into bed

and ambushed, betrayed, killed dead

a pale of lau maile

still around his head.

They say the fires of A’ana

Burnt bright

Fuelled by fury

and revenge

and lit John William’s journey

into harbour.

Oi aue




For mine is a Samoan love story

And we all know

How they end.

Author's Postscript

What effect do our stories have on us?

The Samoan love stories I grew up with all contained dire warnings about investing too much of yourself in romantic love... after all that may distract one from the all consuming love for the aiga so

important in our culture

Of course no race has an exclusive claim on charm (and of course I am biased), but I have always found my people charming- quick to laughter and to song, with an easy confidence and a fantastic sense of humour. Conversely, there is a cavalier attitude to relationships and to monogamy. Not for us the outrage and universal condemnation when someone steps out on what is supposed to be a committed relationship.
This poem is a reflection and a lament
on Samoan love


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