Mangoes, angels and hopes

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Lumepa Apelu

Mangoes, river flows, mother’s voice, and the hurrying of wet feet across the grass, to hide in the room, childhood gushes by memories of innocence. 

I taste in my mouth the sky is blue and it is sighing, when I recall, the onset and offset days of growing up in a small village by the police station, in the middle of a landscape, semi circle, as if hugging the horizon.

Eyes of a child held by the horizon, seeds of the talie tree, and the white washing waves, in the distance, they seem so alive. But the sinking ships of war, the bells of churches, and the lulled air of emptied songs from throats of grandmothers are lingering both in the heart and the mind. I was once innocent and white inside like the forming shapes of clouds clattered across the sky. I worshipped everything that I loved. 

But the meddling years carried me here. I am sworn in as a traveller and at forty odd years, I am weaker and stronger still. The ups and downs of my wicked life, are by less than a minute adventurous and peeking into the eyes of my children, sad and happy too. Somber days follow around the corner, the rain and storm, that clear up in the surprise of a fog. Angels touch me there. 

As you listen to my tales of the storm, fill your mind with your own winds, and tail it to the direction of the moment where you too, would breathe in a deep sigh. And if you should mount a horse by the end of your days, make her a mare of white hair, and back her up with a saddle of golden beads, to give to the beggars along the way. God knows there are plenty in our paradise. 

The market is full of fresh fruit, pineapples, bananas, men and boys, women and girls, dressed down to the ways of the surface of the earth. If by judgement day, we were marked as a race of intelligence, the beggars would cover their naked bodies with coconut oil and heal their inner wounds with smiles from the trees. 

But we are wasteful. We bear the birth mark of greedy farmers and arrogant weavers. We throw inside our cars and over the mountain waterfalls, our plastic things. They sit in the sea with all the fish and drown the eels in them. 

Our fingers we tire with texting on our telephones, and we do not look in the eyes, of our children, our families, our husbands and wives, no. We wash them down with toothpaste and gurgle them into the sink with today’s calendar of things to do, beyond and about money, sex and freedom from others, mostly. 

We are slaves to the wants of the body and mind and we close the door to the living soul. We are sheep in a herder’s grave. We miss everything. The signs from nature are as open as the sky, but we are bowed with our heads in the ground, looking for slippery things. 

Have you in your mouth the bitterness of disappointment too? 

Our heroes are long dead. They swim in the polluted air of corrupted systems, to remind of the voice we carry deep within. But they are far away and the easy things are nearer still. Easier to lie and cheat here, but is it the same for the path to heaven, we hope?

The fruits of our islands dance inside our heads all along. Pineapples, coconuts and big bananas, funny enough are words of a tropical song. Songs I love are written in death prose, and mimicked in the walk of shadowy palm trees to the end of the earth and always sung by a melancholic voice of a bearded man I don’t know. Lyrics of the song seem to be, “If we do not know death, we won’t appreciate this life either.”

But I am lessoned out. The words I write are spun to the test of time.  Each to their own solitude is a thing to do for the mind to rest. 

And if we are as humane as human beings should be, we have to brave the sun to lure us into the field of openness and welcome ourselves in there. For how else can we paint this life into the colours of the rainbow and instil in the centre of the soil, our hopes?

© Samoa Observer 2016

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