Preservation of a Pacific Culture

Category: Poetry Published Online Published: Saturday, 28 September 2019 Written by Richard J Bell

Preservation of a Pacific Culture

When the ocean swallows the Kingdom of Tonga
through the rising tides of climate change
will the culture survive?

What will happen to the land?
Will steam rise from the ‘umu
as the water levels drown our cultural ground oven?

What will happen to our historical monuments?
Will the ancient stone trilithon called Ha’amonga ‘a Maui
a stone calendar built in the 13th century
that predicted the equinoxes through the star alignments
be reflected in the stars on the ocean’s surface?

What about the culture
when the sea gets too high?
What will happen to our Polynesian heritage?

The preservation of culture will survive
in the history lessons
we are taught by loved ones

Songs will live on through our voices
passed onto our children and relatives
the generations from Polynesia

Our stories of the Tonga we’ve seen
will be passed on
giving life to Pacifica we once knew

The island culture of Tonga will live on
inside the hearts of those who share their Kingdom
and our culture will never become extinct.

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