new zealand electronic poetry centre



M I C H A E L   F A N E N E - B E N T L E Y

Michael Fanene-Bentley is a New Zealand-born Samoan of the aiga Fanene-Tui Samoa from the village of Saleilua, Falealili. He has an inherited interest in writing poems, short stories and novellas, reflecting the Samoan peopleís unique humour with underlying messages for his aiga and the people of Samoa. Michael has worked as a rehabilitation practitioner in the psychiatric field for the past 27 years, 20 of which were in Canada and among the native American First Nationsí peoples.

My sounds I do not hear

A Palagi, for an interview, to my village came.
Looking for sound.
Thinking: no I did not catch his name.
Do you hear the pounding of the surf upon your reef?
No I say,
Thinking: this sound must cause him much grief.
Do you hear the insects and birds in your bush?
No I say,
Thinking: maybe now I should give him the push.
Do you hear the roosters crowing by your fale in the morning?
No I say,
Thinking: now this is really getting boring.
Do you hear the wind blowing through your coconut trees?
No I say,
Thinking: nice shorts, glad I donít have those knobbly knees.
Do you hear the pigs rooting in that taro patch you planted?
No I say,
Thinking: I must have a problem, taking my sound for granted.
Do you not hear these sounds, or are you deaf, like that tree?
No I say,
Thinking: I hear them now, because he just told me.
Do you not hear any sounds when you are lying awake?
No I say,
Thinking: yes I must, but come on, give me a break.
Do you know I interview you, not to cause you any strife?
No I say,
Thinking: hang on, these are my sounds, Iíve heard them all my life.
Do you not hear these sounds because youíre tired and need a break?
No I say,
Thinking: all my sounds must keep this Palagi awake.
Do you not listen to the sounds of your island, they are full of glory?
Yes I say,
Do you smell that smell?
No he say,
Thinking: I should tell him, well then, thatís another story!



Last updated 04 July, 2004