Tin Shui Wai (Photo: K. Y. Cheng/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
Tin Shui Wai (Photo: K. Y. Cheng/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

BooksMay 20, 2022

The Friday Poem: we miss, by Vaughan Rapatahana

Tin Shui Wai (Photo: K. Y. Cheng/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
Tin Shui Wai (Photo: K. Y. Cheng/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

A new poem by Vaughan Rapatahana.

we miss

we miss Pampanga.

the sultry ambience

of everydayness.

the husky tones

of street sellers

chanting ‘mais’,

the clackety tintinnabulation

of clapped-out scooters

feeling their way down the lane

outside our old home,

itself a victim

of errant floods

unchained from their kennels

of climate change.

 

we miss tin shui wai.

the musky thrall

of everydayness.

the ricocheting raves

of soigne mobiles

efflorescing from mass passers-by,

the tasty tangs

of multifarious food vendors

lining the mall walls

opposite our high-rise tenement,

itself a barbican

against mindless murk

unleashed from its lairs.

of belching culm.

we pine for whānau,

newborn and nonagenarian.

we yearn for the      dispossessed

                                                                            strands

of our lives.

                                        shipwrecked

by a virus

that is cancelling us

with

confinement.

 

kei te ngaro o mātou

nō te mea o te huaketo.

 

kei te mate o mātou i roto.

namamatay kami sa loob.

我們已死心

we are dying inside.

 

 

kei te ngaro o mātou – we are lost

nō te mea o he huaketo – because of the virus

kei te mate o mātou i roto – we are dying inside – Māori

namamatay kami sa loob – we are dying inside – Tagalog

我們已死心 – we are dying inside – Cantonese

 

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again very soon.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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