By Maniue Vilsoni (written in 'Ahau, Rotuma, April 1999)

Inspirational Point

'Ahau hilltop overlooking the sea. I call this spot 'Inspirational Point'.

the first wave splashed on
uphill toorak, grantham and affordable baniwai
gutsy socio-economic refugees
freed from the dictates of grenville aristocracy
futures placed on a personal intra-migration policy
free at last to pursue a nuclear family dream:
of school,
mind your own business,
freehold in the suburbs,
cash in the wallet,
english at home with a bbc lilt,
dreaming with clear eyes
dreams knotted, entwined
with the skills of the great survivor.

The second wave knew not of the struggles of the first
where calloused hands once
toiled kainaga land
etching a living
from a fluctuating copra yen;
they knew not
of the intricacies of a mortgage,
of overtime,
sweat on the brow
and social demands on the pocket,
they knew not of the voyage
where each departing kiss
was whispered with misty eyes
"be a rock!"

the immigrant was comforted in the knowledge
that the next set
will prosper in books
and will labour no more
on a garment factory floor,
or carpool or plain mister security at the door;
he placed his hopes on destiny,
and prayed behind his church tithe
that his offspring will be loving
in his twilight years
and will fly him back to rest
under a pua tree
on a hilltop overlooking the sea.