new zealand electronic poetry centre



K A R L O   M I L A

Karlo Mila was born in 1974 and is the daughter of Maka Ulu‘ave Mila and Lynda Hunt. Of Tongan, Palagi and Samoan descent, Karlo grew up in Palmerston North and works in Auckland as a Manager for Pacific Health Research. She has written poetry all her life, mostly to capture people she honours (and the politics of relationships) on paper.

For John Pule

the poet told us
there was a beach
but a hurricane came
and swallowed it up

there was also a nation of people
but a New Zealand sponsored
just as hungry
swept away people like grains of sand

with the help of
longremembered newfound family
he finds the old foundations
where hibiscus trees grow wild
with memories of his mother

using a new machete
he follows the old tracks

to a not so distant past
meeting his ancestors along the way
capturing them on canvas
mapping out their stories
so they will
never be lost

and his own children
will be able to find them



Last updated 04 July, 2004