Doug Poole (b. 1970) is of Samoan and English descent. Current Publisher
and editor of blackmail press, an online poet focused journal, Doug's
work can be found online at Trout issue 11, Stalking Tongue Volume 2:
Slamming the Sonnet, Fugacity 05: nzepc feature
, and blackmail press. His
works are also published in Paper tiger media world poetry CD 3 and Huia
publishers Niu Voices: Contemporary Pacific Fiction 1, 2006.


When they burned your body
the empty fale became
webs breathing our memories.
Shutters suspended on broomsticks
let open the memory of Kake's
biscuit tin overrun with black ants.
Greeting every morning
talofa lava and a kiss.
Rubbing coconut oil on the dry
mottled skin of Kake's
bad leg, I am company
in the pouliuli of blindness.
Kake sings and plays harmonica
as I shake ants from the tin.

* pouuliuli - dark, darkness
* fale - traditional dwelling
* talofa lava - welcome indeed

Pouliuli II

Two face
no longer will I
work day and night
clean the tin bird
pack the can
sweep the street
suck the tar
your eyes don't shine
who were you to take our deities?

My gods are not for you to take
Two Face,
my ways not for you to recreate

Gogo'sina the priestess
the avenger, for a fine mat
trade winds bring the
light of two face.
Pull close the darkness

The mau of our hearts
preaches peace, family and love.
Our history collides with the light.

Two face burned
your body; withheld the fine mat,
blow low notes until again
in the children, we embrace.

Gogo'sina, will you remember me?

* Mau - Independence movement of Samoa
* Gogo'sina - demigod in form of grey tailed tern

Pouliuli III

The crushed lava and
coral bed of your
grave falls between
parted fingers, opening
dark matter between
stars. Nine heavens of
Tagaloa circle
above the children of
earth and spirit:

Fatu the heart, a woman
Ele-ele the earth, a man

* Tagaloa - God of creation

Pouliuli IV

He smacked her in
the mouth, strangled her
on the lounge room floor,
she, the great granddaughter
of a high chief of Safune.

Down the front steps
crushed-cash tumbleweeds
the coconut spawn
of an English gentleman.
Just take the bloody money.

He rolls down the front stairs
crashes next door to borrow
a cigarette, bruises his arms
back, legs, an' Peter just laughs;
smiles the smile darkness fears.

He falls into the colonial light
of red lions & factory floors
lucky dips, benefit draws,
bets on the horses on 'Amelikan' cars
wakes in pouliuli banging.
Open the fucking door.

There is terror in her
eyes as the front door pane
gives way to a stupor fist.
Up late, her son sits
on the river of blood
poured over his head.
The sink turns blood-
red and shakes.

I'll break down the fucking door.

(Poems here selected and edited by Jayne Fenton Keane.)

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