new zealand electronic poetry centre


Ripa Silipa

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology



Mitimafu - stale coconut cream dream

My multi-layered covering is
protected and guarded at all costs
with humility, modesty, fear
and surrounded with the ‘culture of silence’
I am confined to a nutshell with utmost pride
preserved by the fluid of natural purity
I am a tuna swimming in a pond within a pond
a sharp point can only pierce through my softness
and, only good craftsmanship can crack me open

My cluster and I are now open for re-branding
my functions speak for themselves
though invariably my voice could not be detected
by wave links of mainstream scoping radar  
because they come in different forms and diverse brands
to be, or not to be accepted is the question
rhetoric or relics of the past
conceptualising my multiple concrete forms
I merit a body of opinions and generalisations
as I keep my coconut dialogue alive…

Pluck the bad coconut from a cluster
as it spoils the taste of the cream…ole mitimafu
and creates hiccups in the Milky Way’s Journey…
Ia ifo tonu le fuiniu i le lapalapa…
may the cluster of nuts
bow to the midrib of the coconut leaf

Ode to Pacific learners’ diversity

Every fisher depends on his own fishing line to haul a successful catch  
Every wild boar hunter has an animal sniff to track a good kill
Every builder has a mathematical lashing to architecture with finesse
Every orator has the oratory tattooed to his mind to orate-articulate with mana  
Every learner, a novel of one’s total person, one’s journey, one’s own tale
And every tale, its own cool image  
to paint.

If ! I bring myself closer to the ‘cool image’ and listen to my inner voice and those of others
I would understand whence they come
What they have/not and which path they choose to lead
their perceptions of the world, ‘tools’ and ‘know how’
the expectations and aspirations-failures and successes
the manifests and coping mechanics they improvise
the cultural life of their education reality

I, me myself and them merged
making it ‘clear’ the big picture
and its ‘wholeness’
that is painted.

Homage to a Loved One: Ms Teta:

Thank God for bringing you to us all
You are not only a cultural and linguistic Guru
But an eclectic and wonderful teacher
Your intimate warmth unites and shelters us from indifference  

You taught us to be culturally aware,
To breathe in-out and to be articulate and palatable  
To think clearly amidst the oblivion
To chant and sashay with ‘mana’ from our powerhouse-centre

You taught us to see the world clearly, to see it whole
To construct effective instruction design for diverse learners
To listen, feel and warm to body-non-verbal languages
To be mindful enthused and prepared to embrace our diversity

You taught us to think and dance with the dead and the living
To think of yester years’ lyrics to sing today’s song
To chant sing and dance and to be ‘leaders’ of today for tomorrow
To respect, acknowledge and to listen to the ‘Pacific currents’

You taught us to be ourselves in whatever we choose to do
To dust motes in our eyes to make eye-contact with the ‘other’
To empty anxieties, insecurities and alienations
To enhance and to iron the knitted brow from mindfulness

You taught us to liberate all Pacific cultures
To remove our self interests and unfathomable egos
To pursue ‘infinite thinking’ and ‘the source’
To behold to master the auspicious and enlightened ‘Space’

Whereupon you taught us to carve our identities with pride
To respect others and to express our spiritual beings freely
To define our worldviews and our genealogies
To make sense of it all, our niche – a place to stand in Aotearoa      


Christchurch, April 2005

Ode to a vibrant Matriarch: Lisi Motufoua Liva 85th Birthday

Issued in Port Moresby
To Paulo Amosa and Niusulu Tapune
Conferred the name Ms. Lisi Paulo Amosa
Raised in Port Moresby Tuvalu and in Samoa
The immense ocean of life she transversely sailed
Encapsulates both tranquillity and turbulence
Educated at Papauta Girls in Samoa
Founded in God, faith and truth
Lisi’s nuptial love for the late
Motufoua Liva was complete

Mama’s fertile being amongst many assets
her children and grandchildren were born
Love transcends boundaries: she nurtures others
Her motherly deity has been unduly influenced by
her divine trust in God and the trinity of the ‘Word’
Her obvious conjectural yearning for that which she believes
to instil in those that follow the reality of devout parishioners

Mama practises that which she has experienced through
deliberate-reflective agencies of her own making and education
From the many roles she played in church groups and woman committee
to her incisive decisions and robustness as a ‘domestic engineer’
She cultivated the Motufoua clan and its alliances with sheer faith
As those she nurtured gathered, accumulated and synthesised

To recognise that which transcends Mama’s ‘time’
transparently we see the process and outcome of our ‘time’
Our conscious minds are the outcome of her ‘clock’ that which we become
‘virtuosic concertos’ chanting today’s song with lyrics of yesterdays
Conveniently this provides us with a legit discovery about freedom
Painting a sense of self securety – our roots and different routes we trek

For all that which she stands, seminal of her Christian values
The Sunday rituals she anointed in us continue to placate our souls
Like the branches of trees that sashay to the rhythm of the winds
Though we bewildered, undecided, and straddled the fence every so often
Our soaked bodies are dried, wrinkles ironed and our mustiness cleaned
Through Mama’s overwhelming presence, that which influences our unity
She influences the greatness in us: to unfold ourselves into readiness
to unfurl our sails into openness – to shelter our minds from indifference
All prepare us to be airborne into everlasting peace, love and harmony

What a delight it is when we celebrate Mama’s 85 th birthday
Talking and listening to ourselves and to others in unison
What a delight it is when we search for true love and respect
Developing durable pathways for us to follow and lead in tutti
What a delight it is when we journey into consciousness open-mindedly
Fulfilling the need of our souls to be: recognised, cured and nourished
What a delight it is when we switch from the past known trait humbly
Entertaining the dynamics of our real self, soul, mind and otherness

For all these delights we thank God for bringing you Mama to us all
You continue to be an inspiration at the helm of our day to day lives
Through your guidance we become leaders of ourselves and others
Through leadership we see revelations in our spiritual insights
In your subtle daily manifests we learn to sing and jive to any musicology
You alert and enhance our commonsense and mindfulness
Through your hilarious antics augmented by your gracious aging
Embeds in it a ‘masquerading message’ ‘the essence of our life cycle’
A reminder to us all ‘the sophisticated life we live’ and ‘let live’
Would gradually undergo a dramatic change
that which we all would one day return to,
as naïve mindless-forgetfulness beings
as ‘innocent children’
the ontogenesis of life



Last updated 26 May, 2005