Ek naflu giborim vayobdu cle milhamah

[In memoriam: Reverend Togamau Nepo, 

Malua 1977-1980, Afega 1981 -1997]


Several times since your passing have I rehearsed 

the ancient cry of royal lament in memoriam - 

ek naflu giborim vayobdu cle milhamah

men of might! implements of war! forsaken in the heights 

of favour - several times poignant of the watch 

of life thrown our way by the inexactitudes,  

the apparentness of my destiny is to question 

why you have fallen,  ek naflu giborim?   I remember


Our meeting at the unfurling of the Euangellion -  at its vortex

Jerusalem became reconstituted -  the signature of Ixthus 

was carved where the road curved away from the pulu  trees

 into the Mediterranean clime, and you -you ploughed the waves 

to plant justice, preferring the seed that fell on rocky ground

The universalist in your step detested the straitened paths 

at Malua,  to find the meaning of the corinthian controversy 

that split the Church - you said here lies the scourge of our age 


The aplomb and the ceremonial synopsis of consensus

you found dispicable for lapsed conscience the protocol of  discipleship marked for you and I, omericly of this age 

of upturned faces corrupted in the edenic parable 

you fathomed the mythical Edith in the beginning and not Eve   

you made us drink from the optimism of the Suffering Servant

your style reminiscent of the power coming in the anastacia - 

 and I - I walked the stones painted at the outskirts of Gnosis    


Ek!  the utopian memoir of  the Shibboleth shift - heaven  

dawn contradiction - morning anguished of essence - life

lay burning - only the ancient cry of royal dereliction suffices

hare bagilboa al tal veal matar aleichum

for neither dew nor rain any more captures the way 

the dilemma of that early February break of day defined 

the semantics of our presence  -  now only in utterance: 

Ha-Cabod! Shekinat Ha-Shem! Our stance 


In Tanumafili

Ebbed as your breath reached no more into the deep

instead frothing thinly on your lips - effervescent of meanings

droplets of life lost in the crevasses - only the life of fools 

gelled anymore in the heat of your passing at the third watch - Tanumafili wept, Ek naflu giborim vayobdu cle milhamah 

How! have you fallen, mighty men! the implements of war

return no more in the hand of the mighty, your sword your word

beckon not anymore 


No bells tolled your passing, no sound portend the time

instead the winds of life escape the windowless vastness

of this fabled homeland  - I watched the tell tale hue of dawn 

turn into a bloody encounter, sacrilege of the inner sanctum, 

 ek naflu giborim betok ha milhamah - How! 

Aiga Sa Gauifaleai failed the hour surfeitly, opened ranks, 

the standard of Gatoa’itele half masted in the dawning mist - 

the staff of Tuisamau decadent in this epitaph of shame 


Your passing augments not so well anyone anymore: Aiga Sa Gauifaleai  is forever marked in the din of battle, Tuisamau mourns the tragedy that silenced Vagana, the bells that toll the sack 

of Tanumafili cling to the rafts forfeit its tune forever issue

no sound - I remember our becoming so well, so dim your passing makes - our parting as heirs of the ancient farewell of royals, 

comforts, tsar-li aleyka ahi, implements of war shorn on the ramparts, lost no longer to adorn the emblem of Aiga Sa Gauifaleai


At Malua today 

I saw you briefly in the aftermath of the Merib at the Arabah, the Maasim of the evening march as usual dressed in the prophetic garb  of the Upper Estuary in the manner of one so near so far

I stood where we used to stand at the western wheel of the Gilgal, so real so true of the Barthian orthodoxy - then the Recem and the Suse Esh came between you and I - to think you exist the Descartes Fellowship-  to say fare thee well again, my friend - Shalom haberi,  


Reverend Togamau Nepo, 

The years are long to the morning of our last watch, so brazenly, so clearly and so well have I  enjoined the loss,  so sadly in your memoriam,  hare bagilboa, al tal weal matar aleichum

          ki sham nig’al  magen hagiborim

    ek naflu giborim betok hamilhamah

                      tsar-li aleyka ahi

  ek naflu giborim vayobdu cle milhamah, 


T S Malifa


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