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By Albert Wendt

Our islands are Tagaloaalagi’s stepping stones across Le Vasa Loloa

small and frail but courageous enough to bear his weight and mana


high enough to keep us above the drowning and learning

how to navigate by the stars    currents and the ferocity of storms


Point and sail in any direction as long as you know

how to return home


You have to navigate the space between the borders

of your skin and the intelligence of the tongueless horizon


and learn the language of touch    of signs and pain

of what isn’t and what may be in the circle of the tides


that will stretch until you understand the permanent silence

at the end of your voyage


and our islands are your anchor and launching site

for the universes that repeat and repeat


like the long waves of our ocean    like Tagaloaalagi’s

compulsive scrutiny of what is to come and fear


Source: Poetry (February 2018)

  • Mythology & Folklore
  • Nature
  • Religion

Poet Bio

Albert Wendt
Albert Wendt is a Samoan poet, novelist, playwright, artist, scholar, and educator. He has published more than a dozen novels and short story collections that explore many different themes in genres. He has been the recipient of many awards throughout his illustrious career; in 2013, he became a member of the Order of New Zealand, the highest possible honor in New Zealand. See More By This Poet

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