UNITY

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‘THERE’S A ‘U’ AND AN ‘I’ IN UNITY’: Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh performing her poem ‘Unity’ at the prize giving for the 2016 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story competition on Friday evening at the Samoa Observer headquarters, Vaitele.

‘THERE’S A ‘U’ AND AN ‘I’ IN UNITY’: Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh performing her poem ‘Unity’ at the prize giving for the 2016 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story competition on Friday evening at the Samoa Observer headquarters, Vaitele.

author picture

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Let’s talk about unity

in London’s Westminster Abbey

did you know there’s a London in Kiribati?

Ocean Island: South Pacific Sea.

 

We’re connected by currents of humanity

alliances, allegiances, histories 

for the salt in the sea, like the salt in our blood

like the dust of our bones, our return to mud

means while 53 flags fly for our countries 

they’re stitched from the fabric of our unity

it’s called the Va in Samoan philosophy 

what you do, affects me

what we do, affects the sea

land, wildlife—take the honeybee

nature’s model of unity

pollinating from flower to seed 

bees thrive in hives keeping their queen

unity keeps them alive, keeps them buzzing

they’re key to our fruit and vege supplies

but parasitic attacks and pesticides

threaten the bee, then you and me

it’s all connected—that’s unity.

 

There’s a ‘U’ and an ‘I’ in unity

costs the earth and yet it’s free.

 

My grandad’s from Tuvalu and to be specific

it’s plop bang in the middle of the South Pacific

the smallest of our 53 commonwealth nations

the largest in terms of reading vast constellations

ancestors were guided by sky and sea trails

way before Columbus even hoisted his sails!

 

What we leave behind, matters to those who go before

we face the future with our backs, sailing shore to shore

we’re earning and saving for our common wealth

a common strong body, a common good health 

for the salt in the sea, like the salt in our blood

like the dust of our bones, our return to mud

means saving the ocean, saving the bee

means London’s UK seeing London’s Kiribati

and sharing our thoughts over a cup of tea 

for there’s a ‘U’ and an ‘I’ in unity

costs the earth and yet it’s free.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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