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Maryanne Pale
New Zealand

Tui Taonga 1-5 Penny Howard
I am of Tongan ethnicity laced with Samoan ancestral roots, born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand.
Poetry is something that I have loved since I was young. My inspiration to write is drawn from many different life experiences. 
I have created a blog to share my poetry and to share and/or discuss poetry works written and performed by Pasifika and New Zealand authors, inspirational stories, music and more.

Traversing the Waters

for Tupou Neiufi

As your feet lift off the starting block
you dive into a pool of endless possibilities
like a dolphin, your body moves swiftly through the clear waters
leaving ripples of impossibilities behind you

You lift your head each moment to inhale
counting each breath and making each breath count
you dip speedily in and out of the water time and time again
proving that life is worth living

The swimming pool transforms into an ocean
as you navigate the waters of life’s uncertainties
gracefully dancing near the surface water
accentuating the butterfly as you tumble, twist with rhythm and speed

Each arm stroke moving forward and back in circular motion
strengthened by your sheer determination
as the water laps at the edge
you extend your legs and kick into the glide

You traverse the waters fearlessly with power
and everytime you swim below the surface
always remember to rise  back up
above water
above obstacles
above fear
To conquer the impossibilities!
To live your life!
To inspire!
And to succeed!

Grounded Underneath a Tongan Sky

In the late night hour the crescent moon shines
I can hear the gentle whispers of the leaves from the towering coconut trees
I gaze into the stars that adorn the Tongatapu night sky
I’m left in awe of where I stand and what those stars represent
My ancestors had no compass but they became the warriors of the waves
Guided by the moon, stars, waves, wind and the birds
They conquered fear that has left many generations amazed
In a fleeting moment, the passing of an evanescent shooting star occured
As I stood on the ground that nourished my forefathers and subsequent generations
It was as if my ancestors were making their presence known
The clouds then became a blanket over the Tongatapu night sky legends
What a perfect moment to embrace the stillness felt within
Hufangalupe & Vai ko Tapinga, the lands of my Tongan family members of late
Farewell, as I return to Aotearoa New Zealand and continue to navigate


The sea mist and gentle breeze sweeps softly against my face
I take a deep breath and exhale with a sigh
a perfect moment
to sit

As the calm sea ripples glisten in the open sun
my heart beats to the rhythmic melody of the waves
I marvel at the oceans’ significance
This is the Pacific ocean that my ancestors once conquered

Immersed into the poetic sounds surrounding the ocean
I imagined the future that was desired by my ancestors
A future guided by the scattered stars
lead by the moonlit sky
directed by the lashing waves
envisioned to be one without struggle
without injustice
without pain

Such a peaceful and picturesque instant
a moment without the qualms life continues to exhibit
I take this opportune moment to be thankful
this ocean connects me to my home land
my cultural heritage
my ancestors

As did the sea voyages of my great ancestors
the sun slowly disappears into the horizon
left to encounter the cool summer breeze
as the tide pulls out
the rhythmic melody of the gentle waves

Upon my return to the noise of the city
I gaze once more into the ocean
I smile
hoping that my ancestors too
gaze upon our generation to find
that their sea voyages


to be yourself
in a world of conformity
to never give up hope
when things seem impossible
to get back up
and rise above adversity
to strive forth confidently
even when things are deemed unattainable
to be responsible
for your actions
your voice
and your silence
It's about finding strength
in the midst of disbelief
to have faith
in the face of impossibility
to conquer obstacles
with a positive mindset
at the very core of your heart
well and truly what
courage is