new zealand electronic poetry centre



L O A   N I U M E I T O L U

Loa Niumeitolu was born in 1970 in Kolomotu‘a, Tonga. Loa has returned to Tonga after a 15-year absence in the USA and is now the organiser of Mataliki Tonga Writers’ Group and other creative activities in the community. Loa writes: ”Creativity is so formalised in Tonga, which is wrong because to sincerely create is to survive and celebrate living and everyone is entitled to that.”

When we tell

              I know English was brought
        by White people to our country.
              But when WE speak it,
when we slur that language like sinews
    of vine floss extracting our teeth,
grind it with coral and ironwood in our mouths.
           When WE tell of the gritty taste,
               we’ve got to have a Tongan way
                   of doing it.



Last updated 04 July, 2004