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Helen Tionisio
New Zealand

Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis Andy Leleisi'uao
Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis - Andy Leleisi'uao
Aurora St

The younger boys went out fishing
With their Fathers and Uncle Lafaele
Returning from moana near the end of the day
With a catch to feed The Puikaiga:

From the sons of Great Grandfather Pahilio
To our father and his cousins
To their children (including me)
Even the friends of the Puikaiga

Aurora St is our family falepa

Uncle Lafaele’s house
Is at ga tai – near the water
His house is blue like the lagoon
Most of us had never seen a lagoon

We played in Daisy and Ake’s room
Or on the cute concrete front yard
So many of us we spilled out on to the road
Playing cricket
Having turns riding borrowed bikes
While our aunties and uncle
Played dominoes in the lounge
Their laughter would screech the walls
Our ears protected
Filled by our own stories
That Ene told us
And Lawrence told us
Then Caroline us

The little boys running across the Esplanade
Barefoot we follow after
To watch them come in
From the mouth of moana
Our dads jump out of the boat
Aluminium strong vaka
On Petone Foreshore
The older sons and their fathers
Heave it up to shore
In para rubber gumboots
And matching yellow raincoats

Bringing the boat in
Carrying the catch in
Uncle Lafaele directs them
To divide the catch
Amongst the Family
Into plastic shopping bags

Puikaiga has fish for tea tomorrow
And tonight we are all eating here
At Aurora St

Friday  School

The local parish hall
On Britannia Street
Became our piece of ‘culture’
Cultural paradise
In the middle of Petone
With its fekei coloured walls
And tall church like doors
Every Friday night
A haven to maintain
In our fakapalagi lifestyle
Fakafetai to you all
Welcome to you all
Little kids
Our little cousins
The hope of our tupuna
Mokopuna promises
Sitting on hard wooden
Parish hall chairs

While the elders say their speech
Show some
Though we don’t understand
A word they say
Or that word yet – fakaaloalo
Fidgeting quietly
Next to Gabrielle and Juliet
Whispering words about what happened at
school today
And uncle Ilalio
What’s he saying?
Or you will get a kini
From your mum’s stare

Uncle Hililo translates
Our Mother tongue to foreign tongue
So that we understand
What Uncle Timo chanted
So that his oratory is not wasted on us
The young
While we sit on these
Wooden chairs
On a Friday night
In the parish hall that stands
On the land our grandfathers called Hope
Turned into our piece of paradise

Our parents are teaching us
Their Aotearoa born tamaiti
To talanoa, fakamalamalama
Mother Tongue to our generation is second language
But never second best
Our Parents made sure of that.

Hakili Havili

We walked around the house upstairs
Looking for the wind (Me and cousin Tavite)
During Christmas
It was ‘at the back’
Sometimes ‘on the right’
And we’d move accordingly
Just to be cool
While our eyes slept,
Our bodies sweated
‘tis the season, hurricanes are expected
When it was hot and the still
I was always looking for the wind


Just think for a moment,


In all its dusty splendor,
Meat and thirst quencher,
All in a nutshell,
Becomes bigger and better,
Beyond perception and recollection:

Pacifika sun is rising
Pacifika sun is rising fast
To where stars are plenty
Ahead full blast

Pasfika frontiers, We all pioneer towards the stars
Taking things pacific beyond these boundaries we call home:
Aotearoa, Oceania,Over, Above…Beyond

The stars that navigated our forefathers canoes
Are now the stars we aim to reach

And it is within us New Generation, Niu Community

Moving boundaries to the stars

That, my friends, is the coconut mentality