Poetry of Doug Poole  (continued)

Half caste


homesick golden haired

palagi boy

comes home to Apia

with his aged Matriarch

Grandmother Edwina;

Auntie Mina;



homesick brown eyed

palagi boy

felt neither one

nor the other

not palagi

not Samoan

until Cousin Monty

gave him soul

Samoan laughter


Homesick golden haired

palagi boy

falling into dreamlike existence

falling into strong bonds of family


Talofa lava



Lava lava


Your Shroud

enwraps my




colours me

hibiscus pink

yellow red

gives me something

I believe in

That I am

Samoan enough

to wear your

Lava lava



I love you , see


Son I watch you

engrave the shoreline

with compassion:

“I love you sea and fishes”.


Daughter, I watch you

cradle in your arms


this driftwood bird,

with tears,

rest it at your feet.


Son, I watch you

shout at the wind

without fear,

charging the air with word song


Dedicated to my Children, Jarah, Waipapa, and Parone-Vincent.





Hawaiian Hibiscus

Radican Gardenia

Sister Edwina

was right

We were going to plant

Hibiscus in the middle

of your garden

We planted mistakenly


“It’s where

She wanted it,

is supposed

to be there,

leave it”


When the Gardenia flowers

with the Hibiscus

How the convexed

Sky blue

opens up

Sun showers

in the middle


Come down

upon my skin

like a dry

hungry desert

cracks up

water veins


Hibiscus trumpet blooms

wailing old stories true

some superstition

some dream weaving too

of the old people

the Island


Our Village

I know you have

gone home

to the garden of Eden

where the Gardenia

Hibiscus bloom


at sunset you run from tree to tree

the breadfruit, mango, paw-paw of

your Mothers garden, stealing fruit.


Dedicated to Edwina Ulberg-Poole



a place to go


I searched all night

in the undergrowth

in the moonlight

furrowing my brow

impatient with anticipation


the street lights are dirty

it’s going to rain

for sure,

come inside to the fale

a place to go

a place to hide


feeling our way in the darkness

to your, brow, eyes, lips;

the watchful moon knows...


lie with me

on the woven sleeping mat

the air is cool

it’s open here in the fale

a boy, a girl

away from the city

we make love.



Hibiscus flight



hush falls upon the garden

heavy laden the light

birds of night

call to be fed

only the palms dare speak

Eden in the bed of night


Night falls as every life dies

as every heartache brings sorrow


The colours of night come alive



to be hand fed

reeling climbing

her hand outstretched






Hibiscus night fires

surround us

The Chickens

The Lizards

stare, watching us


what do we care

stealing into the night

dynamic hybrid flight

into the heart


What do we care for

the superstitions

The shape shifter Matai

who catches lovers

casting fear across his heart

the fear of infidels


Dance with me

shake until you break

the shackles of our oppression

we are young and free

Kiss me

Make love to me

Steal the food from my heart

Take the lust from my hand

Now soar




Samoan Laughter


We laugh

Like a loud emotion

bursting upon each other

infectious. It unites us

for a common cause

the cause of each other

For we are alive

by the grace of god

We praise Jesus

as he did

We laugh

Pounamu Heart


In Pouto we can

loose ourselves

and become friends

we can feel like

we have come home

relax with our Ancestors

and listen to what is foretold

as we learn to grow together

and get our feelings told

Only to look upon you

my children, with my

loving eyes

my tears will wash

the stones from our lives

keep the feelings flowing

smoothing the pounamu heart

life's riverbed





I build our Whare

at night.

Each corner post

I set with riverstone

and clay.

Each strong Kanuka Post

I beset with Kaha; with Mana


 Manuka struts I bind

with Harakeke

I entwine

Taonga Dreams

I strap the binding

with vigour; lust for

Te Po.


 Nikau Fronds

Platted; intertwined

conceal us; beneath us

Fine mats woven

with your long

gentle fingers,

on these we make love; we sleep


 beneath the flaxen ceiling


secure in the storm

I wrap you in Kanuka post

Honey, blood and flame.

Yes I yearn for the

fires of the whare



Moonlit Feast


sweet cabbage tree
have mercy on me
for in this moonlit hour
I devour your pith heart
share your secrets with Morepork
and cast your husk skin
to the black eel

sweet black eel
have pity on me
for in this torch-lit hour
I devour your soft flesh
share you between three
and cast your siliva skin
to the cabbage tree

wavered moonlight,
at my feet
sandstone and lichen
above my head
ponga frond and epiphyte

sweet creek take
hold of me, naked
for in this deathly hour partake
of my erotic warmth
let me hunger emmersed
in your icy waters
sweet pith spoken
sweet flesh broken

Doug Poole
All poetry copyrighted 2002
(see previous page for biographical information)

Artwork: Kina Shell graphic by Kit and Sue Baker Wilson
Music: Fagaim by Enya


Return to Homepage
Return to Guest Poets