Maka Uli

First Published in Landfall 218 in November 2009. 
By Leilani Tamu
Maka Uli

Tagaloa
swallowed
your old man
and in return
he gave you
the bluest of eyes
eyes that see things
eyes that know things
bluer than the sea
that surrounds your island home
bluer than the deep dark depths
of my soul
you are tough
and resilient
like an uga
 
drowning
in the succulent
taste of fresh
coconut milk
as it travels down
into crevices and caverns       unknown
becoming a part of the life force
that is your home: Niue
your smile is like
a thousand rainbows
to me
your touch
a protective shield
that chases away       shadows
of the night
that haunt my palagi dreams
and seek to pull my Pacific heart
into her fire-filled realm
Tagaloa
swallowed
your old man
and in return
he gave you
the bluest of eyes
.