blackmail press 23
Grace Taylor
New Zealand

Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis Andy Leleisi'uao
Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis - Andy Leleisi'uao
Grace Taylor, is of Samoan and Palagi descent. Grace recently won the Poetry Slam for the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival 2008. She is a member of the South Auckland Poets Collective, an up and coming group of young Pasifika spoken word artists. Grace has previously been published in blackmail press 22

Waiting For My Mango Tree

You like the branches of a beautiful mango tree
Dried up
From providing for many years

You, like a battlefield
Victory song unsung
Me, invading in
Like a foreign country to the rescue

You, are a solider
Returning from war
Me, the welcoming
That knows not the tortured seeds and fruits you bear

But when I look at you
I see promise
Like the red shepards' delight
At night

I was an anxious gardener
To quick to pick
From your branches
Lesson learned
Can I remain in the shade of you?
Your intimacy
Like the sweetness found
When lips squeezed tight over the sugarcane

You are not a dead mango tree!
You are resting
From seasons
Your branches hang waiting

For if I creep out under the star sky, trying to surprise
I shall still find no mangos for me
So I lay down
At your roots to hold me still

You, like a warrior on canoe
Rowing to war
I, remain on the shore
Only the ocean can decide
When you shall return

Your rare words of admiration
Like a spring shower
Falling like stars
On my blanket night sky

You are like a season
You cannot be forced
Only arrive when it’s your time
I cannot be the weathergirl
All I can do is wait
For what I know will come
In its own time

Maybe I am the mango?
Of which you’ve missed bearing
But as you are the tree
I cannot be
Till you are ready
Like how a broken heart waits for time to heal
And the day waits for the sun
I will wait
For my mango tree

She Is Island Mother

She is my definition of strength
Beautiful hibiscus radiance
Skin of resistance
Like the husk of coconut
The empty shell fills
With all the nourishes those that surround
Never ending
Continuously pouring
Only if left to spare
Drops for self
She can bear
The whips and lashes of life
Falling on her back bare
But never marks her flesh
As she pushes for higher
For her generation next
She consciously watches her footsteps
Working without compliant
She is my saint
She witnesses disappointments
By those she gifted and loves
Blinded by love
Armed with strengths
She gives yet again and again
Her life and energy
Forever flowing
Like our pacific waters
She carries our canoes from one island to the next
She numbs her pain
In order to give again
Breaking her back
To bear our weight
Yet stand up right
Day and night
Strong as her days of younger
As beautiful as days of chasing
As pregnant with pure love
as the nine months she carried and swelled

She is Island Mother!