Inspired by Makereta Mua’s masters research on the descendents of Rotuman Islanders living in Torres Strait.

Pearls on a Lip by Mere Taito

On a back porch
In Murray or Darlney
Is a mole sitting on lip
Maybe four
Cross-legged in a crater
Offering a home to a young follicle

Like hers does

At the end of a lane
In Suva
The mark of Kainaga
If superstition knows truth,
Endless oratory that plagues a mouth!

Yellowed scrolls
have guarded closely
At times blabbered and mimed
An adventure
That chased the intent
That clung to the feet  and lust of Fred Pedro
Who ,
they say,
Carried many hidden moles
That bubbled out of his blood
And escaped
Hiding in the mother of all shells
All wailing in remorse
When she clamped her calciferous
Plates tightly shut!

Plunging deep
Spearing himself through thick ocean
He rescued them all
Pried open these mothers
And claimed them again
Pressing them to the plume
Of his daughters
And their sons
And their daughters
Safe from the depths of a Torres Sea

May have had one too many
Intoxicating herself on cocktails of distortion
Allowing fantasy to speak


It is there.

A mole
A tiny black pearl
Sitting on my lip.
Their lips
My mark
Their mark
Our mark
Permanent and proud
Of an eternal bond
Not even time,

Can thieve.