Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Minute of Silence for Tsunami Victims in Tonga, Samoa & Indonesia.


From Mr Kasi Muaiava @ myvuw.
Sent: Friday, 2 October 2009 2:06 p.m.

Dear All,
"Samoa and neighbouring island Tonga have been devastated by the impact of the Tsunami. The university are regretfully sorry about the pain, sorrow and despair this has caused to all who have been affected. The investigation in to the total of those who have perished is still under way as the rubble will take a few days to clean up. I hope we are all coping with the tragic loss of our loved ones who have been taken." unquote.

Our prayers are with all those students studying at Victoria University & also all over Aotearoa. together with their families & loved ones that may have lost someone in the Tsunami disaster back in Samoa & Tonga within our neighboring Pacific Islands.

We also would like to extend our prayers to those students from Indonesia that may have lost their loved ones & families too in the recent Tsunami.
Luvei Viti Think Tank Group @myvuw.

After the tsunami: Poems from the Pacific
Image: Sia Figiel and one of her sons

Writer Sia Figiel and her children live in American Samoa. Like many others they fled to the mountains as the tsunami hit their island, and viewed afterwards the destruction it brought.

Sia sent her reflections on the day's traumatic events and her family's survival to the BBC website and shared her thoughts with her family and friends.

Some of those close to her have responded by turning her words into poetry and adding verses of their own.
The evening bells have just rung for evening prayer.
Our prayer tonight is
that of gratitude
that our family and neighbours are safe.
But our hearts
are with those families

"our hearts are with those families"
who can not say the same,
who will sleep tonight
without a son,
a daughter,
a mother,
a father,
an uncle,
an aunt,
a cousin,
a grandmother,
a grandfather.
Their loss is our loss.
Even the night birds feel it
~ Sia Figiel

How right you are. I love the way you articulated it....and so I write for you:
Even the night birds feel it
your words

"even in our disconnectedness"
swim the sky
and through
red feather clouds
and blood tears
i know that we are
connected
even in our disconnectedness
of space
~ CF Koya

To continue the prayer-poetry chain, I take your last lines and invite others to continue in prayer:
even in our disconnectedness
of space
the whole of Samoa is on its knees

"memories of the day before Wednesday"
Samoa in Aotearoa
Samoa in Fiji
Samoa in Amerika
Samoa in Hawai'i
praying and
swallowing salt tears
swallowing time
shoes and soles of feet
swallowing bones and lives and sheet
memories of the day before Wednesday
swallowing distance and space
swallowing our sea memories
to taste this pain
that is ours
~ Selina T. Marsh

I've added my part to the weaving, it follows Sia and the others, taking the pattern of repeating the last line of the previous poem...
To taste this pain that is ours
To remember one's heart is there
On that day in September
At the earliest hour
They watched the sea disappear
The bay empty like a valley
The sea rush back in a moan
Took the weaver from her fale
Took the child from warm arms
Took the elder from his family
Took the sleeper from her sleep
The blue deep, deep moana
There at the sacred heart of us
That echoes through each of us
When the panic madness falls
And the calm tide breathes
With all Samoa everywhere
With all of Tonga too
Remember your hearts there
And my heart too
~ Dan Taulapapa McMullin

And my heart too,
along with yours.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way
that we are all connected.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way,
that our relationship
with the ocean
is never
on our
own terms.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way
why dominion over nature
was never a part
of our epistemology.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way
why we know ourselves to be
simply a part
of a sacred continuum
of sacred relationships
where even
the ocean is alive,
where even
the night birds feel,
where even
the rocks have spirit,
where even
the blood red clouds
know why they are red.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way
the balance of life between
is sacred, va tapuia,
endlessly interconnected
across distance, space, time, species, life, death.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way
why long before
Christ arrived
on these shores
we have always been
a people of spirit
a people of faith.
~ Karlo Mila
A people of faith
A people
A people of
A people of faith
Faavae i le atua
They said
God will protect us
They said
Samoa is founded on God.
O children of the great and mighty Fofoaivaoese
Those of us who watch, and listen
from the great watery expanses of all the corners of the earth
hear Samoa's cry
Fofoaivaoese will not desert you Samoa
For even now the groundswell of love, support and prayers
Wave after wave after wave will crash on the very same tear-filled shores
which tore our worlds assunder
and will overcome, embrace and lift up our people, our aiga, our villages...our Samoa.
from despair and devastation
Do not grieve Samoa,
Outou, mataou, tatou...
With one hand we will hold on to the ancient words and wisdom of our ancestors
And with the other we will grasp the almighty power of Le Atua
As we people of faith
Calmly but surely...do what we have to do
Do
Do what
Do what we
Have to do
To remain...
People of faith
People of the Vao ese
We are here, watching, listening
And waiting.....
~ Melani Anae
Aueeee, our fathers cry
>Aueee, our mothers cry
Auee, our children cry
>Aue, we all cry
>We cry salted tears
>We cry silent fear
>We cry mournful alofa
>For our people
>We cry, Aue…. We cry!
~ Allan Alo
We cry, Aue…. We cry!
The strongest of the strong cry
Through the push and pull of the tides
And waves of pain and agony
that crash against the shore of our wounded hearts we cry, Aue...
We cry
We cry tears of blood
that flow deep through the sea of sorrow flow with the whispers of our soft prayers ascending above the clouds and settle beyond the depths of our soul. It is there that our tears have dried dried into a grain of salt a grain of salt called faith, the one thing we continue to hold on to for faith, isn't faith until it is all that we have left to hold on to it is what will wipe the tears of the strongest cry give us comfort in the night allow the warm rays of the sun to brush upon our skin push and pull the greatest memories of love with that of the tides heal the waves of wounded hearts lost in the sea of sorrow dry our tears and carry us into tomorrow...
~ Christina Pelesasa http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/8286485.stm

4 comments:

  1. wow,thanks for the beautiful poetry,very touching,emotional,endearing to read...
    I love it,vinaka vakalevu.

    ReplyDelete
  2. your pain becomes my pain,I empathize with you,for you,we are wounded together for this time,but we are resilient in our make up.God is good,May his grace carry you through Samoa,American Samoa,Tonga & Indonesia,with my Love and prayers offered for you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tsunami memory lives on
    Thursday, October 29, 2009
    A village woman sits amongst aid boxes in her tent surrounded by ruins in Vaigalu, Samoa, after the tsunami hit, causing death and destruction on that fateful September day
    SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 is a day Dr Shayne Evans Prasad would rather forget.

    He, however, knows that it will take a long time to douse out the emotions that engulfed him on the day.

    The Lautoka doctor was in Apia, Samoa, the day an earthquake triggered tsunami swept through the islands and killed more than 100.

    Dr Shayne said he initially feared for his life but as he saw the people around him looking helpless, he realised he had a sense of duty, as a doctor, to stand fast and help.

    Soon Dr Shayne found himself helping out at the hospital in Samoa with his partner who is also a doctor.

    "The emergency ward was chaotic. Doctors and nurses worked hard to deal with the influx of injured and near fatal cases from the coast. Outside dead bodies piled up and families stood around to identify them," he said.

    "Stories of survivors put medical personnel through grief and tears. Whenever we could, we would huddle up and talk about it just to get through it all."

    He said he finally broke down in the presence of friends who went to meet him at Nadi Airport.

    "The experience has made me stronger and I now have a sense of urgency and responsibility when it comes to disasters and warnings. With what I have experienced, I am convinced the same damage and even more would be experienced in Fiji, given we have a large number staying in the outer islands," he said.

    Here is his story as told to Fiji Times reporter Samantha Rina:

    "It was around 6.30am when most of Apia was still asleep.

    I was in bed and woke to the sudden and violent shaking of the building. I had never felt that scared in my life.

    It was almost as if the whole building was going to collapse.

    I woke up and ran out of the house. We were somewhat convinced the house might just give in. The quake lasted over a minute.

    Outside the house I could feel the earth move. A loud siren was heard and people screaming and running. Vehicles were abandoned as people rushed on foot to Mount Vaea. The tsunami struck about ten minutes after the alert.

    Panic suddenly struck me when I recalled tsunami and earthquakes go together.

    I grabbed my jacket and joined my Samoan family outside.

    I was told to go uphill with the kids in a four-wheel drive while the family followed in another behind.

    As I drove up the hill, horror and helplessness struck me when I saw multitudes of people, temporarily homeless along the hill.

    Some were hugging and crying, others were consoling their grandparents.

    I could never forget that painful drive up the hill that day.

    We were in Central Apia, the business district of Western Samoa when the tsunami struck.

    About thirty minutes later there were reports of flooding in the coastal areas. This was the first wave of the tsunami.

    Before the news of the tsunami, I called my mum back in Fiji to pray for my family and Samoa.

    She reassured me and holding back her tears, said she loved me and encouraged me to stay strong for my Samoan family.

    I felt scared and hopeless.

    I was away from home and knew things would worsen.

    Later after the tsunami had passed, the warning was called off.

    Hours later communication lines were jammed and people still did not know if their loved ones were safe.

    It was a sad experience."
    http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=132477

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tsunami memory lives on:
    Poem by Karlo Mila-Schaaf
    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    We are reminded

    in the most brutal way

    that we are all connected.

    We are reminded

    in the most brutal way,

    that our relationship

    with the ocean

    is never

    on our

    own terms.

    We are reminded

    in the most brutal way

    why dominion over nature

    was never a part

    of our epistemology.

    We are reminded

    in the most brutal way

    why we know ourselves to be

    simply a part

    of a sacred continuum

    of sacred relationships

    where even

    the ocean is alive,

    where even

    the night birds feel,

    where even

    the rocks have spirit,

    where even

    the blood red waves

    know why they are red.

    We are reminded

    in the most brutal way

    the balance of life between

    is sacred, va tapuia,

    endlessly interconnected

    across distance, space, time, species, life, death.

    We are reminded

    in the most brutal way

    why long before

    Christ arrived

    on these shores

    we have always been

    a people of spirit

    a people of faith.
    by KMSchaaf

    ReplyDelete

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