Friday, November 14, 2014

dear matafele peinam

Men argue. Nature acts.

A poem by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a 26-year-old from the Marshall Islands:

dear matafele peinam,

you are a seven month old sunrise of gummy smiles
you are bald as an egg and bald as the buddha
you are thighs that are thunder and shrieks that are lightning
so excited for bananas, hugs and
our morning walks past the lagoon

dear matafele peinam,

i want to tell you about that lagoon
that lucid, sleepy lagoon lounging against the sunrise

men say that one day
that lagoon will devour you

they say it will gnaw at the shoreline
chew at the roots of your breadfruit trees
gulp down rows of your seawalls
and crunch your island’s shattered bones

they say you, your daughter
and your granddaughter, too
will wander rootless
with only a passport to call home

Want to hear the rest? Watch the video:

The Poetry Friday round-up today is at Keri Recommends.


jama said...

Thanks for sharing this powerful, stirring poem video!

Linda B said...

So beautiful, Tabatha. The class I just entered is studying "power" this year, in all its permutations. I will show this, & they will love it. Thank you, happy you found & shared! said...

Wow. Powerful message/gorgeous writing/great video. I see why she got a standing ovation at the UN summit! Thanks for sharing.

Becky Shillington said...

This is simply stunning, Tabatha! Thank you so very much for sharing it today!

Donna Smith said...

Thanks for sharing this today!

Diane Mayr said...

Mother love at its finest! If only women held the power. Love and power would be a mighty combination.

Mary Lee said...

I wish I could believe those final words. I hope my pessimism isn't some flaw in the pattern of the future that will prevent her version of the future from being the one we live in...

Carol said...

Wow. Just wow. What a message. And what a powerful example of persuasive writing. I can't wait to share this with our middle schoolers on Monday.Thank you.

Ruth said...


Bridget Magee said...

Not to be redundant, but Wow indeed. Thanks for sharing, Tabatha. I am always moved by your posts. =)