Monday, June 13, 2011

For Albert Wendt (On his Birthday) - Karlo Mila

For Albert Wendt (On his Birthday)
- Karlo Mila

you dare to fish
beyond the coral reefs
of our understanding

your net pulls in poems
flicking salty tales

you find nuanua
in the eye of hurricanes
celebrate thunder
we prefer not to hear
and relish
the quicksilver laughter
of lightning

you shake the tree
of the frangipani
and as the flowers fall from grace
you string them into sentences
ants and all

your narrative is a needle
that pierces the thickest skin
the ink of your pen
blending with our blood
tattooing stories of altered genealogies
between the lines
of our naked bodies

Karlo Mila is of Tongan, Palangi and Samoan descent. She was born in Rotorua, grew up in Palmerston North and now lives and works in Auckland. She has had poetry published in Whetu Moana, Best New Zealand Poems 2003, Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of Fusion Poetry, the Listener and Coffee and Coconuts. Karlo performs live poetry regularly.

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